In a new book, Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature, out this month, Roland Kays takes us inside the world of camera traps, compiling over 600 photographs from camera traps set up by individuals and research groups around the world. Kays, as the director of the Biodiversity Laboratory at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, is aware of how important camera traps are for researchers trying to keep track of elusive wildlife populations.
Camera traps can help researchers and citizen scientists monitor animal populations, capture evidence of endangered creatures, and count individual species from a distance.
They can also capture some silly, unguarded moments. Here are 10 amusing photos from the book.
1.) Pooping bear
This bear has surely found a great location to do number 2.
2.) Beware kitty
An owl snatches a cat from the ground, not knowing that it is actually a robot. Researchers later found the robocat nearby, relatively unscathed.
3.) Say what now?
These long-tailed macaques aren’t startled by the camera trap so much as suspicious. Many macaque populations are used to humans and their technology, and are known for begging for handouts at tourist sites.
4.) I’m hungry
A vampire bat grabs a bite on the rear end of a sleeping cow. Vampire bats use cattle as a main source of food, much to the annoyance of local ranchers in Panama, where this photo was taken.
5.) Just stretching
A bear looks super cool casually leaning against a tree.
A Jaguarundi, a kind of cat, is totally dumbfounded by this camera set up in Suriname.
7.) Playing fetch
A young wolf carries a stick back towards the den, just like a domesticated dog would.
8.) Midnight flight
This poor deer was just trying to eat some apples as a nighttime snack. But then, out of nowhere, a flying squirrel decides to photobomb the moment, and a camera flash only adds to the mayhem.
A curious gorilla smiles for the camera in the Republic of the Congo.
This cougar, out for a morning stroll in Brazil, was not ready for its close-up.
H/T to popsci