Season 8 Movie Time
Looks like everyone is sinking their teeth into Season 8! As a reminder, feel free to ask questions or chat with us through the Snapshot Serengeti Discussion board or in the comments of any of our blog posts.
Now, there’s some data from this new season that hasn’t made it online — sometimes, instead of taking pictures, our cameras accidentally switch into “video” mode and capture 10-second clips of animals doing their Serengeti thing. While this isn’t very good for us in terms of data collection (although we’ve been tossing around the idea of setting up a Snapshot Serengeti: Video Edition!…), it gives you a unique perspective on the lives of these animals.
(Okay, so it’s mostly animals eating grass. They eat a lot of grass. Perhaps not the most “unique” insight on their behaviors, but they’re still pretty fun to watch). Here’s some of my favorite accidental movies from our new Season!
(If you want more videos, Margaret has blogged some of her favorite movie clips from past seasons here and here)
I’ve been a bit remiss in blog posts lately. I’ve just recovered from a whirlwind trip through South Africa (so much exciting data!!!), a visit to the Zooniverse team in Oxford, and, not least, my 31st birthday — and now I am rapidly approaching the end of my dissertation, and it is pretty much the only thing on my mind. I’ve already got a date – July 11th – on which I’ll give an hour long public presentation (anyone local is welcome to come) followed by 2 hours of inquisition by my committee members behind closed doors. But to make it there, I first need to hand in my dissertation and have them all agree that I’m ready to defend. I need to hand it in by Friday, and still have a *lot* of work to do!
So, I may have posted this before, but figured it was a good time to (re) share this clip of baby elephants learning to use their trunks. They remind me a little bit of me trying to learn how to do science…
Just for fun
I know Mother’s Day was a week ago, but I stumbled across this little gem and thought it was worth posting. I’m currently frantically prepping for my trip to South Africa, so stay tuned for travel stories soon to come!
Just for fun
Watching animals in the wild, I’m always amazed at their power, agility, stealth, grace…I could go on. Even our household pets seem way more adept at maneuvering in this world than I feel on a daily basis.
And so this site
makes me giggle because it reminds me that I am not the only one who sometimes has trouble making her feet land where they are supposed to. Although I have to admit that if I ever tried to leap upwards ~10x my height, it would end far less gracefully than for these four-legged acrobats, who always seem to walk away completely unscathed.
Big Cat Wars
I’m in the process of writing up some *really* cool camera trap results from Seasons 1-6, and plan to share them here next week (as soon as I make them pretty). It would never have been possible without your guys’ help. But in the meanwhile, this just aired again on TV, and thought you might enjoy a bit of a break! They talk about the camera traps a bit ~33 minutes in.
A day in the life of a camera
Okay, okay, it’s actually more like 2 months in the life of the camera, but I strung selected images together for site M08, Season 4, “roll 2.”
It’s actually pretty cool. It amazes me just how much information we get on even a single camera. We can see the migration moving through, the grass greening up, and even a spat between lions and hyenas!
My next task will be to string *all* of the images together for the season, but there are >2,000 of them, which my little computer couldn’t quite handle just yet.
More accidental video
In processing Seasons 5 and 6, I recently stumbled upon a bunch of video files amongst the stills. You may recall that while we have our cameras set to take still images, every once in a while a camera gets accidentally switched to video mode. Then it takes 10-second (silent) clips. Most of these are “blanks” triggered by grass waving in the wind. But every once in a while, we get ten seconds of animal footage. Here are some from Season 5.
And, what do you think this is?
You’ve undoubtedly seen it: Grass. Tall waving grass. Lots of it. From here to the horizon. If you’re itching to get images of animals to classify, the “nothing here” grass images can seem annoying. Some people find the grass images soothing. The animals themselves, well, a lot of them seem to like it.
Some animals find that tall grass is nice for concealing themselves from predators, like these guys:
Or this impala:
And some animals think the grass is nice for eating, like here:
This post is brought to you by Faulty Cameras that switch unexpectedly to video mode when they’re not supposed to. These Season 5 videos have no sound, but capture some of the movement you don’t get with the photographs, so I thought you might like them.
We (or at least the lions) miss the migration
Hi everyone —
It’s Friday and we’re short a guest post! Since I’ve just returned from a backcountry holiday in Yellowstone, and Margaret is at a scientific conference, I thought I’d fill this space with a quick video of last year’s migration. I recruited Jason Adams, a Serengeti-based hot-air balloon pilot (and Canada’s reigning hot-air ballooning champion), to help me capture the scene on his Go-Pro.
Faulty Cameras (video-style)
Ali has written about the beatings that the cameras take, and you’ve likely seen Snapshot Serengeti images tilted at odd angles, or at the sky, or face-down in the dirt.
Every once in a rare while, a camera suddenly switches from “snapshot” mode to “video” mode and instead of taking three pictures, takes ten seconds of video. This video “feature” eats up camera memory very fast and so isn’t good for our research, as we end up running out of memory before we have a chance to re-service the camera. It also doesn’t record any sound.
But the resulting video can be amusing. Here is a series of ten-second clips taken on May 6, 2012. I think I know how the camera got flipped to video mode! Do you?