Whats it like to be a cow?
August 27, 2009 4:31 AM   Subscribe

Previously: Cat Cam.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:38 AM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

"..equipping a small flock of sheep with cameras in 1998 changed everything for Easterson, he said. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, commissioned him to tape some sheep as they "mowed the lawn" in a park. Easterson said he learned a lot about his new craft and the nature of animals...
"I was shocked to realize all the other animals in the flock could tell that this one sheep with the camera had been 'altered' in some way. She kept trying to enter, and they kept treating her as an outcast. I also learned sheep can run very fast and fences are not as sturdy as you think."

This site also includes excerpts from Easterson's Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
posted by vacapinta at 4:48 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

That armadillo cam video is awesome. The sound adds a whole level of coolness to it. I now want a shrub-sniffing armadillo video game. With lasers!

Also, this seems to prove that cows are not the most exciting animals for filming. Probably why there was never a Wild Kingdom episode about their natural majesty.
posted by dellsolace at 5:18 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh my kids are going to LOVE these
posted by ShawnString at 5:39 AM on August 27, 2009

I'm with dellsolace--armadillo cam IS awesome! I kept running it, with a big smile on my face.

*sniff sniff ear wiggle sniff*
posted by misha at 5:47 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I watched "Cow Staring at Cow," and even though the title indicated no such thing, the internet has conditioned me to expect some sort of epic bovine battle out of that video. So I was disappointed, and it's entirely the fault of the internet.

(The armadillo video was very cool, however.)
posted by brandman at 5:50 AM on August 27, 2009

These completely rule. My wifes favorite was the Turkey.
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:43 AM on August 27, 2009

These are interesting movies, but I think it's important to keep in mind that what we can see through the camera is not really what the animal sees. Take for example the cows: they're herbivores with eyes on the sides of their head, giving them a large field of view but little overlap between them. They get a much more panoramic view than what the camera suggests. Flies have extremely large field of view, but would get a much lower resolution than either a human eye or a camera sensor. Falcons have forward-facing eyes that can see incredible details and are great at measuring distances, but are fixed in relation to the head and cannot move independently of it.

Granted, it would be difficult to approximate something like that through a different camera setup or post-production effects, but it helps to explain why some of the films seem to focus on odd objects. Neat movies nonetheless!
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:14 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

More armadillo, please. MOAR.
posted by jquinby at 7:26 AM on August 27, 2009

Cow Staring at Cow

or, 'Waiting For Cowdot'
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:01 AM on August 27, 2009 [5 favorites]

Yes, this.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:05 AM on August 27, 2009

wow. way to buzzkill, pontifexPrimus. i feel confident, though, that in the next few years scientists will develop camera eye implants that will present a more realistic picture. the problem is going to be getting the cows to hold still long enough.
posted by msconduct at 8:17 AM on August 27, 2009

A cool post, thanks. Needs smell-o-vision as an app.

Awesome sushi version body swap experience with that armadillo, reminded me of a Robert Sheckley short story in his excellent Omnibus collection. Liked the turkey one too.
posted by nickyskye at 8:18 AM on August 27, 2009

this post rules.
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:22 AM on August 27, 2009

posted by sciurus at 8:41 AM on August 27, 2009

needs more live streams.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:43 AM on August 27, 2009

needs more cowbell?
posted by msconduct at 8:50 AM on August 27, 2009

I know this is quite peripheral but I have always loved this painting.
posted by supermedusa at 9:21 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Armadillo's ears are so much floppier than I would have ever expected.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:41 AM on August 27, 2009

Goat head-butting is serious business!!

These are so awesome!
posted by sarahnade at 10:13 AM on August 27, 2009

Damn do I love armadillos. Made my day, vacapinta!
posted by caution live frogs at 10:37 AM on August 27, 2009

posted by water bear at 11:41 AM on August 27, 2009

These are fantastic vacapinta. And the rest of them at the museum site as well.

I saw a PBS show once where they strapped a camera onto a sperm whale and watched as it dove with its two babies to 1000 feet (when the camera quit working) hunting for giant squid. It was amazing.
posted by vronsky at 12:41 PM on August 27, 2009

Its like you put a camera in my head; all day every day its dig, dig dig, dig...
posted by Molesome at 12:53 PM on August 27, 2009

love them!

This one is just too surreal
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:22 PM on August 27, 2009

I think I want to take about 10 seconds of that armadillo video, find a good spot to loop it and then turn it into a screen saver or something.

Just so that when I'm feeling a little blue, I can imagine myself riding on the back of a giant armored, panting, charging war-dillo, ready to attack my foes.

Or maybe sniff some flowers.
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on August 27, 2009

How is it that scorpion cam isn't the most poular thing on the internet?
posted by jessamyn at 5:49 PM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

There's a cow...there's a cow...there's another cow...there's a cow...there's a cow..[fart]..there's a cow
posted by ihunui at 6:10 PM on August 27, 2009

The more of these, I watch the more I love the idea of 1st person views of animal activities becoming a real, practically used way of studying their 'unobserved' behavior.

I'm also digging the concept that nowadays, enough people across the generational lines are familiar with playing FPS games, that this point of view would not seem all that weird from an usability perspective.
posted by quin at 9:21 PM on August 27, 2009

Here's a first-whale perspective dive video from National Geographic using a camera suction-cupped on to a blue whale - it's pretty murky down there though.
posted by simonw at 2:36 AM on August 28, 2009

I had to. I just had to.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 6:25 AM on August 28, 2009

This post has been particularly interesting for me. Its given me a chance to see something previously unknown take off and spread around the Internet.

I found these videos while doing a random, somewhat related flickr search. When I first saw the armadillo video it had like 10 views. So, in that sense I "discovered" this - that is, as opposed to finding it linked somewhere else. Now I just saw it on kottke (where he gives a via to some guy on twitter instead of us), other contacts of mine on the Internet are suggesting it to me - and it now has over 6000 views! Cool!
posted by vacapinta at 3:53 PM on August 28, 2009

MAP also has a blog, a Vimeo profile, YouTube profile, and Twitter feed. For my money, the most fun is had playing with the MAP map. That is, a GoogleMaps powered utility that allows you to select from Dwelling Cams, Camera Traps, Animal-Borne Imaging, ROV Imagery, and Threatened Species.

Vacapinta, I totally was going to make this post myself. Couldn't find yours via searching until finally, when I was previewing the thread, it caught the links. Drat!

Did you notice this thread from July 25th, 2004? The links are dead now but I have a feeling it was a previous incarnation of MAP.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:06 PM on August 29, 2009

Yep, it was the previous version of MAP, called Animal Vegetable Video. CNN had it in 2003. The internet is so weird sometimes. Here's a texty thingy (from "Leonardo Electronic Almanac volume 12, number 4, April 2004", which is apparently this society) that contains a review of Sam's old website and then waxes on to talk about "telepresence" and references Heinlein. Ctrl-F for Easterton a few times to find it. Fun.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:20 PM on August 29, 2009

whuffwhuffwhuff scrbscrblscrblscrblchkchkchkchkchkchk whuff whuff [look, adjust ears...] scrblscrblscrbl....

I love the armadillo videos the best.
posted by not_on_display at 10:24 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks lazaruslong. CNN forgot they had it because apparently they just broadcast this on Sep 1.

Here's the timeline I saw:

Aug 27: Metafilter

Aug 28: Kottke

Aug 31: Boing Boing

Sep 1: CNN
posted by vacapinta at 5:54 AM on September 3, 2009

I feel sometimes like we are a sleeper cell for promoting awesome, here at MetaFilter.
posted by jessamyn at 8:15 AM on September 3, 2009

Yeah vaca, to be clear I think you are right. I think that this particular time, it was the post that spawned the twitter that spawned the kottke and so on. I just thought it was cool how these things sort of dive below and then resurface. And I think it's incredibly awesome that MeFi was there first, way back in the day!
posted by lazaruslong at 11:42 AM on September 5, 2009

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