Are owls the smartest birds?


ANIMALS Where does the belief that owls and owls are particularly intelligent come from? Is it proven?

The are owls the smartest birds?

The owl belongs to the family Strigidae which has 221 species. — chrisbrignell/Shutterstock

Owls and owls are, in most cultures, considered an omen of death. Their nocturnal character and their hooting traditionally give them a mournful symbolism in Kenya; this belief was also prevalent in the Middle Ages in Europe, where owls were associated with witchcraft. Among the Amerindian peoples, they were linked to supernatural dangers; they carried messages from beyond. or warnings to people who have broken taboos. Among the Aztecs and Mayans, they were seen as a symbol of death and destruction; the Aztec god of death, Mictlantecuhtli, was often depicted surrounded of these birds. In Japan, on the other hand, they are still considered lucky charms.

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A nice belief?

It is also common in the West to attribute great intelligence to owls and owls. It’s a legacy of ancient beliefs: among the Greeks and Romans, the owl was the animal of the goddess of wisdom Athena (Minerva among the Romans). She represented knowledge, science, and was associated with the city of Athens. Their big heads, their huge eyes and their stern gaze continued. to give owls and owls the image of particularly wise and intelligent birds. This idea is found in all sorts of literary works, from Welsh texts from the Middle Ages to Winnie the Pooh.

Are owls the smartest birds?

In mythology, the owl is inseparable from the goddess Athena. – Yaroslaff/Shutterstock

Many studies have been carried out to assess the intelligence of different species of birds to from the 20th century. Thus, owls and owls are not among the most remarkable birds in the matter. They don’t show great flexibility; mental and behavioral, do not have a great memory or the ability to to use tools. Scientists consider that pigeons are intellectually much more advanced than owls.

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Are owls the smartest birds?

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