Tuesday, 26 Jan, 2010 Science

Chimpanzees Given Video Camera to Make a Movie


BBC is going to broadcast a movie that was filmed entirely by chimpanzee. The film is part of a documentary project on natural history. Researchers have given the apes a special camera for the film and decided to follow the animals' perception of the surroundings and of each other.

The idea to make such a movie came to primatologist Ms Betsy Herrelko, who is currently studying for a PhD in primate behavior at the University of Stirling, UK. For more than 18 months she has been trying to introduce video technology to 11 chimps at a newly constructed enclosure located at Edinburgh Zoo, UK.

It is worth mentioning that the enclosure features three big interconnected outdoor arenas and a number of smaller rooms where the chimpanzees can be studied. The new enclosure is currently the biggest in the world. After given the camera, researchers noticed that the animals became interested in movie-making.

Ms Herrelko first attempted to teach apes two main things - one is to train them to handle the touchscreen and choose different clips. In such a way the researcher wanted to find out which types of pictures the animals like to watch the most. The second thing that Ms Herrelko wanted to do was to give the animals a recording camera stored in a chimp-proof package, reports BBC. The top side of the box featured a screen that showed live pictures of the things the camera was pointed at.

At first the animals showed more interest in each other. However, after a while, they managed to learn how to change between different videos. While playing with the camera, the chimps showed their interest in the camera view screen. All in all the animals were more interested in the view finder rather than the touchscreen. Researchers still have to study the results of the experiment.

Posted by mrexcellent

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