Smithsonian Wild website gathers images of nature uncut

By Colin Ricketts - 28 Feb 2011 14:41:1 GMT
Smithsonian Wild website gathers images of nature uncut

A new website, Smithsonian WILD puts you face to face with a jaguar and lets you look inside the mouth of a Chinese giant panda.

The Smithsonian has collected over 202,000 striking images from wildlife researchers around the globe in a new publicly accessible collection.

Faced with shy and elusive creatures in the field, scientists use camera traps to observe their subjects. These traps - hidden cameras triggered by motion sensors – offer scientists the chance to observe animals without disturbing them and without having to spend 24-hours-a-day perched up a tree.

Now, the Smithsonian has gathered together more images from seven projects their researchers are engaged in to provide a fascinating glimpse into the wild world.

The photographs are all available at Smithsonian WILD; you can search the collection and click on links to share your favorites with your social-networking friends.

Smithsonian research microbiologist William McShea said: ''This site provides the public a glimpse of what the scientist sees when surveying remote places.''

''Not every photo is beautiful but every photo provides information that can be used to conserve wild animals. It is addictive to scroll through the photos at a single site and see the diversity that walks by a single camera in the forest.''

This is raw footage, unedited and untouched, so don't expect all of the images to be perfectly composed artistic masterpieces, but the sheer amount of material, which includes video clips, and the chance to see nature untouched makes the site an absorbing way to get lost in the wild web.