The Silence of Owls

Owls are among the most silent hunters in nature, thanks to their feathers. The leading edge of the wing, shown in the bottom part of the photo, has a serrated comb-like edge, which breaks flow over the wing into small vortices, which are quieter than larger ones. The fringe-like trailing edge breaks the flow up further and helps absorb the sound produced by the turbulence. The fluffy feathers along the owl’s body can also help muffle noise. Researchers are investigating ways to use these techniques to quiet aircraft. # (via jshoer)

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