Learn about owls and bees at the World Museum


The shape and design of owl flight feathers is unique

Visitors to World Museum Liverpool will learn about the life histories of bees, owls, and creatures living in the Mersey waters at a special event led by postgraduate students from the University of Liverpool.

Postgraduates from across the University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences will be working alongside museum curators to educate young people on the different species of bees, as well as showing visitors how to build their own bee houses.

They will introduce visitors to how museum specimens are prepared, and give children the opportunity to dissect an owl pellet to see what the bird has eaten and compare them to animal bones in the exhibits to identify the owl’s prey.


Some species of owl have asymmetric ears, allowing them to locate their prey by the sound it makes

Living things found in the Mersey and Liverpool Bay will also be under the microscope, such as caddis fly larvae and phytoplankton.

Katy Wareing, postgraduate student from the Institute of Integrative Biology, who secured funding for the project through the University’s PRACTICE scheme, discusses what visitors might learn about owls during the workshops at the museum: “The shape and design of owl flight feathers is unique, they have a serrated leading edge on the feathers which means they can reduce noise better than other birds; they are therefore able to fly almost silently, without their prey hearing them approach.”

“Owls have huge forward-facing eyes, which helps them to see in low light conditions when hunting at night. However, these large eyes are fixed in place, so owls must turn their whole head to focus on something – they have 14 neck vertebrae (a lot of neck bones!) which allows them to rotate their neck by about 270⁰.”


Owls’ large forward-facing eyes help them see in low light conditions

“Some species of owl have asymmetrical ears; one is much higher than the other. This difference allows them to locate their prey accurately by the sound it makes. Because the ears are in different positions the sound arrives to each ear at slightly different times – allowing them to pinpoint exactly where it is coming from.”

The event, Walk on the Wild Side, is free and being held at the World Museum Liverpool on Saturday, 29 June.


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