Friday, June 24, 2011

Cuban Giant Owl

Ornimegalonyx oteroi
The Cuban Giant Owls were the largest Owls to have ever lived. As the name suggests, they inhabited the island of Cuba, where numerous fossil remains have since been found, including three almost-complete skeletons.

This particular Owl was so large that it probably couldn't fly all that well, if at all. At best they could maybe move short distances or parachute down from higher areas.

Rather than fly, they relied on their long, powerful legs to move and hunt. Cuban Giant Owls lived in forested areas, nested in caves, and preyed on rodents and other small mammals by ambushing them with their strong talons.

There are four species within the genus, all of which went extinct between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago.

IUCN Status : Extinct for 8,000 to 10,000 years
Location : Cuba
Size : Height up to 3.3ft (1m), Weight up to 20lbs (9kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Strigiformes
Family : Strigidae -- Genus : †Ornimegalonyx

1 comment:

  1. Hi, very interesting article, I am from Cuba and I remember seen barn owls (lechuzas) flying by my house late at night...never knew about that giant owl fossil found in Cuba, thank you for posting the article, I already sent the link to my niece in Cuba so she can share the information because she write for the local online blog in our town.

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