Tyto or barn-owls, true barn owls, grass owls and masked owls, is a genus of barn-owls collectively making up the subfamily Tytoninae. They are darker on the back than the front, usually an orange-brown color, the front being a paler version of the back or mottled, although there is considerable variation even amongst species. Tyto owls have a divided, heart-shaped facial disc, and lack the ear-like tufts of feathers found in many other owls. Tyto owls tend to be larger than Bay-owls. The name tyto (τυτώ) is onomatopeic Greek for owl.
Throughout their evolutionary history, Tyto owls have shown a better capability to colonize islands than other owls. Several such island forms have become extinct, some long ago, but some in comparatively recent times. A number of insular barn-owls from the Mediterranean and the Caribbean were very large or truly gigantic species.
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