Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Film made by chimpanzees

BBC to air film made by chimpanzees, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is scheduled to air the world's first documentary entirely filmed by chimpanzees.

The film, made as part of a scientific study by primatologist Ms. Betsy Herrelko, aims to reveal part of the way chimps perceive the world and one another.

Herrelko, who is a PhD student in primate behavior at the University of Stirling, trained 11 chimpanzees for 18 months teaching them how to use a specially designed chimp-proof camera.

The apes learned how to use the video technology while living in an enclosure, the largest of its kind in the world, with three interconnected outdoor arenas and a series of smaller rooms.

Herrelko first trained the chimps to use a touchscreen and then gave them a 'Chimpcam', a recording camera housed in a chimp-proof box, BBC reported.

Although the apes were initially more interested in each other than the video technology, after a while some of them learned to select videos to watch.

It seemed that chimps did not prefer any specific kind of image over others.

Finally, Herrelko gave the Chimpcam to the whole group and they started playing with it around the enclosure watching the images appearing on the camera view screen as they moved.

Although the chimps were most probably not conscious of filming particular subjects or making a film, the study provided useful information on the worldview of chimpanzees.

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