How Owls Turn Heads

A mystery of the animal kingdom: How do owls turn their heads 270 degrees without damaging their blood vessels? At last an answer, published this week in Science, as the winning poster in the 2012 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. Fabian de Kok-Mercado, of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Philippe Gailloud, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, dissected and X-rayed owls to discover how the birds do the twist.


Images courtesy of: Fabian de Kok-Mercado, Philippe Gailloud, Michael Habib, Tim Phelps, Lydia Gregg, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Archival: Prelinger Archives; music by Lucky Dragons/Free Music Archive

Meet the Producer

About Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman was the host of the podcast Every Little Thing. She’s a former Science Friday multimedia producer.