Obviously, not all physical traits in animals have a “purpose.” But many do. Has any explanation been given as to the purpose of the “horns” of tufted feathers on the heads of some species of owls?
They help camoflage. A rounded profile like the top of a bird’s head stands out much more strongly (especially against backgrounds like tree bark) than a more jagged profile like that produced by the tufts.
Interesting. Whereas (tuftless) burrowing owls would not be seen against such a background, presumably.
It’s all crap.
I ain’t got no tufts and lady barn owls love me.
Ha! Tuft envy.
Ya got me. [Falls to the forest floor, dead]
You’re not a true owl, anyway…
ADAPTIVE SIGNIFICANCE OF EAR TUFTS IN OWLS (PDF Warning). © The Cooper Ornithological Society 1981.
Oh nyctea, I’m in love!!
<blush> (which is white and therefore indistinguishable from the rest of my white feathered face!)
But it’s so appropriate as your costume for our forthcoming wedding!