HOW STUFF WORKS
QUIZZES

FOLLOW US
The Ultimate Owl Quiz
by Staff
The owl is surrounded by myth and mystery, some of it ominous, some of it symbolizing wisdom and prudence. Take this quiz to delve deeper into what makes this creature so fascinating.

What feat of the owl captures people's attention?

  • ability to sit perfectly still for hours
  • deadly accuracy when pouncing on a mouse
  • silent flight

What Greek goddess was associated with the owl?

  • Venus
  • Athena
  • Medusa

According to legend what announced the death of Julius Caesar?

  • hoot of an owl
  • an owl landing nearby
  • an owl leaving the Senate

What is the symbolism of an owl in Hindu culture?

  • protection of warriors
  • triumph in battle
  • luck and prosperity

What purpose does silent flight serve?

  • less effort required to fly
  • sneak up on its prey
  • doesn't bother the other owls

What is it that allows owls to fly quietly?

  • aerodynamic body
  • powerful wing muscles
  • design of their wings

More specifically how is the noise dampened?

  • unique design of the leading edges of their primary feathers
  • using a smoother flapping motion
  • by gliding

Some owls have extra vertebrae in their necks, why is this?

  • smoother head movement
  • allow the head to rotate 270 degrees
  • integral part of their stealth abilities

Why are the primary feathers of the owl serrated?

  • This gives greater momentum when flying.
  • Serration reduces wind-resistance when flying.
  • They split the turbulence into smaller currents to help muffle sound.

What do some people believe is another purpose of the primary feathers?

  • shift sound energy to a higher, inaudible frequency
  • stabilize flapping motion allowing owl to glide
  • create "white" noise that masks sound of turbulence

What are the secondary feathers made up of?

  • firm long feathers that help owl glide
  • soft fringes that reduce turbulence behind the wings
  • short flexible feathers enabling owl to maneuver rapidly

Why are there downy feathers on the owls legs?

  • keep the legs warm while sitting in wait for prey
  • protect the legs from attack
  • absorb any remaining noise

How can engineers use what they know about the owl to make aircraft fly more silently?

  • covering landing gear with owl feathers
  • covering the landing gear with a velvety covering
  • making shape of landing gear similar in form to owl legs

How can engineers modify an aircraft based on the anatomy of the owl?

  • retractable fringe like the owl's trailing feathers
  • change shape of the aircraft
  • flexible wings

Why does the aircraft industry seek to reduce the noise made by aircraft?

  • reduce inconvenience to the general population
  • give passengers a more comfortable flight
  • reduced noise means more flights

What economic benefit do researchers hope for from studying the owl?

  • to keep takeoff energy efficient
  • lowered flight times
  • more efficient wing action will use less fuel

Where is the Quiet Aircraft Technology project being carried out?

  • Boeing
  • McDonnell Douglass
  • NASA

What is the frequency which the owl's down absorbs to prevent being heard by its prey?

  • 1,000 hertz
  • 2,000 hertz
  • 3,000 hertz

In what recent popular movie does the owl appear?

  • Harry Potter
  • The Birds
  • Birds of a Feather

Where does the Jung Owl live?

  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Uruguay