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Photo by James Toose on Unsplash

What you know about owl brains may be wrong.

When you think of an owl what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A snarky Tootsie Pop bearing scholar? Maybe you think of Harry Potter and his feathered companion, Hedwig. Maybe you’re a history scholar and picture Athena’s symbol of wisdom, simply known as the owl of Athena. Whatever the image, something that remains consistent in western imagery regarding the owl is that of a guiding force of wisdom, guidance, or intelligence.

In contrast, many other cultures viewed owls in very different lights. The Romans believed that the hoot of an owl was a sign of impending death, and seeing one on the battlefield could result in catastrophic losses. Some Native American tribes believed that owls were the harbingers of sickness and death. In India, many view owls as a symbol of foolishness due to its large eyes and tendency to stare into space. …


Tim Becker

A journalism student just trying to get by.

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