The owl uses its claws to walk up the trunks of trees, so as not to cause any noise by the flapping of its wings. This cunning creature will also keep its presence unknown by walking up the trunk on the side of the tree furthest away from potential prey, thus maintaining the element of surprise. It will then edge around the trunk and fall on the prey from a height of ten feet or so.

Once the sun begins to rise, the owl will return to its nest high in the trees and sleep. Before sleeping, the More-Spotted Sooty Owl will fly around its habitat for 30 minutes. Ornithologists originally thought the owl did this to find new hunting areas, but it now seems the owl is simply exercising its wings. The 30-minute flight keeps the wings healthy and the muscles toned. If the owl didn’t fly, the muscles would atrophy and the bird would not be able to fly properly within two years.

This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided