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In a rainforest in Gabon there lives a camera trap. And a mirror?
February 9, 2013 9:28 AM   Subscribe

a herd of elephants cross a stream ... audacity of the mandrills ... panthers play with their reflection in a mirror ... a passing group of gorillas ... 52 red river hogs eat fruit ... a leopard falls in love with the camera trap ... a sitatunga frightens some ibises while crossing a stream ... two elephants fighting ... chimpanzees attack a mirror ... a slithering Gaboon Viper ... a family of elephants on the trail ... 15 animals at the same place, close to camp
posted by ChuraChura (13 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally, photographic proof of leopard teleportation technology!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:46 AM on February 9, 2013


Did they disprove the null hypothesis?
posted by b1tr0t at 10:14 AM on February 9, 2013


I somehow missed "A young elephant under the influence of hallucinogenics," in which an elephant, thinking there is nobody watching her, acts silly.
posted by ChuraChura at 10:17 AM on February 9, 2013


I really love the progression of the chimpanzees, as they move from assuming the chimps in the mirror are enemies in their territory to sitting and contemplating it, even leaning in and out of the view. I'm not sure if any of them had quite yet grasped it was them, but they were clearly working towards it.
posted by tavella at 10:40 AM on February 9, 2013


... a passing group of gorillas ...

Yeah, but did anybody notice the guy dribbling a basket ball?
posted by Westringia F. at 10:42 AM on February 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


watch 'em while you got 'em
posted by facetious at 11:34 AM on February 9, 2013


"I somehow missed "A young elephant under the influence of hallucinogenics ," in which an elephant, thinking there is nobody watching her, acts silly."

Aww you had me all excited, that one is sequential pictures of 15 different animals caught in photo-traps at the same location near camp Nyonié in Gabon.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:34 AM on February 9, 2013


yes i would like a herd of elephants please
posted by bicyclefish at 12:55 PM on February 9, 2013


Oops. Sorry, I meant this one: "A young elephant under the influence of hallucinogenics."
posted by ChuraChura at 1:06 PM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Great find. I love the leopard one, how even before a reflection is visible, the leopard is so, so cautious about the (new) mirror. I feel like it captures something about territorial wild animals that people often forget: how intensely cognisant - and wary of any change they are, and conversely, how they will dismiss anything (tourists, cars, camera clicking sounds, hides) once they have established it's no threat to them.
posted by smoke at 1:48 PM on February 9, 2013


this is lots of fun. thanks!
posted by evening at 2:06 PM on February 9, 2013


The elephant videos recall me of the prologue to Richard Dawkins's The Ancestor's Tale, in which he cautions us against the kind of anthropocentric thinking that places humanity as the most noteworthy stage of evolution:

if elephants could write history, they might portray tapirs, elephant shrews, elephant seals and proboscis monkeys as tentative beginners along the main trunk road of evolution, taking the first fumbling steps but each -- for some reason -- never quite making it; so near yet so far. Elephant astronomers might wonder whether, on some other world, there exist alien life forms that have crossed the nasal rubicon and taken the final leap to full proboscitude.

I often think of that passage as a way of reminding myself of the vanity inherent in attaching significance to the human brain; but now, looking at these elephant videos, I am dangerously close to drawing the exact opposite lesson: God damn, those trunks are fucking baller! Why don't WE have trunks? Elephants really got it goin' on!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:42 PM on February 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


smoke: Great find. I love the leopard one, how even before a reflection is visible, the leopard is so, so cautious about the (new) mirror. I feel like it captures something about territorial wild animals that people often forget: how intensely cognisant - and wary of any change they are, and conversely, how they will dismiss anything (tourists, cars, camera clicking sounds, hides) once they have established it's no threat to them.

What I am amazed by is that the leopard seems to have figured out the reflection is no threat, and actually a self-image*, long before he/she approaches it! Sure, it's seen its reflection in water pools, but this is much bigger, and vertical. Smart kitty!

*There's no real attempt to communicate with/reach the leopard "behind" the mirror.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:56 PM on February 11, 2013


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