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Snowy owl genus?!
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Tyto, chronos



Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 63
Location: Derry Township, PA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Tanja.

You are my hero, I mean, you explained everything perfectly right there.

If what you say about mutations is true, and it probably is, then the reasons sharks have evolved so little over millions of years is due to their long period of juvenile. Sharks do not reach sexual maturity for many years, depending on the species. Is that correct, or did i miss something?
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Laughing Owl Lover



Joined: 06 Jun 2006
Posts: 450
Location: Candyland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

but do snowy owls have any other similarities besides appearance? I mean, would a Great Horned owl thrive in tundra like snowy owl?
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Its so sad that the Laughing Owl is extinct.... Help protect owls in need and never pick up a fallen owl unless it is injured or it is in a dangerous place (ex. middle of the road)
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Adain



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most likely not, because snowies have adapted to their environment so that they blend in and have thicker plumage. GHOs have also adapted so that they blend in with their environment (foresty areas), so I doubt they would do very well in a snowie's habitat.
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owlboy
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Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 1343
Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL wrote:
Quote:
but do snowy owls have any other similarities besides appearance? I mean, would a Great Horned owl thrive in tundra like snowy owl?


Adian is right. Snowy Owls have feathers that are 3 times longer then GHO. They can survive in very cold climates. Snowy's make lousy educational owls because they die easily of either disease, stress and heat. The Females are white, and have more black spots then males. The black spots make them blend in with the ground more easily. This often makes it easy to determine which is male and which is female. The females nest on the ground in wind swept areas. Adian also make a good point that GHO blend in well in habitats with forest. They do get pretty far up into Canada, but not as far as Snowy Owls do. The territory range of Snowy Owls is from the artic down to the border of the USA. They will come into the USA when there is either a lack of food or too many Snowy's competing for too little food sources. One cool fact is that when you do see Snowy Owls in the USA, they are usually immature males.

In regards to the change in genus. In the scientific world, Scientist are not allowed to make mistakes. When mistakes are found, the scientist reputation can be damaged. Mistakes can result in career suicide. I do not want members of the forum to think that the change in genus for the Snowy Owl degrades the original work of the scientist many years ago. Back when the genus was setup for owls, they didn't have DNA testing, or even knew what DNA was (DNA was discovered by Watson & Crick in 1954 I believe). So owls were carefully placed by physical characteristics and behavior to the best of their ability with the tools that they had many years ago. Now that we can do DNA testing, we can determine exact which owls belong in which genus. I am sure that many years ago, they struggled with what to do with the Snowy Owl. The decision came down to placing all large horned owls into the bubo genus. Because the Snowy didn't really fit into any of the other categories, they created a new genus. Today, we can determine with 100% accuracy that Snowy Owls belong with the other Horned Owls (bubo) because their DNA is very closely related. The Snowy Owl is the exception to the original rule of only Horned Owls belonging to the bubo family. Today we know that using the criteria of Horned Owls for the bubo family is just a general rule, and that there can be exceptions.

And Tanja is right about mutations. Viruses clearly show how fast mutations can occur. Viruses are the perfect example. That is why the formula for the flu shot changes every year. And, it is why the CDC is scared of the H5N1 virus. If the H5N1 virus mutates, it could result in a virus that is much more deadly and contagious then it is now. If that happens an epidemic outbreak could leave many millions of people dead around the world. It would be like the bubonic plague, but on a much larger scale.
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Tyto22



Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 309
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Regarding being up-to-date with all new stuff is hard task, no doubt. Still new species to discover, not to mention older ones to redefine.... not only mammals, Tyto, all of them!

I know that it is important for all of them, I know the raptors I work with because I work with them and I know mammals because I need to for my classes, I'm eventually going to try to memorize all of the raptors classifications Razz

And Owlboy, I completly agree with you that snowy owls aren't the best ed birds, ours is healthy, but we have actually gotten her a misting fan for the summer and she does well with that (if we would be to get serious heat wwe would move her into air conditioning for the hottest part of the day). Also, while I love them, they aren't the smartest owls, and with their ground nesting ours tends to bait towards the ground, so she must be trained constantly to keep from losing what we have achieved so far!
(sorry, a little off topic) Very Happy
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