Heres What Happened When Scientists Strapped Cameras to Cats

first_img Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferWatch: Deep-Sea Octopus ‘Billows Like a Circus Tent’ Since cameras have become smaller and more portable, scientists have been attaching them to animals — everything from sharks (to see how they hunt for prey) to penguins (to see how they communicate with each other in the icy waters off Antarctica).However, researchers haven’t much done with cats as they could be difficult to work with, according to Science magazine. One ecologist is trying to change that with a new study involving 16 cats and 16 small cameras.Maren Huck, behavioral ecologist at the University of Derby in the United Kingdom, attached small cameras on 16 cats and followed them for up to four years as they prowled their neighborhoods.Her findings, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, provided some interesting insights on the behavior of felines.For one, they’re not lazy as you think. “Cats are seen as relatively lazy, especially compared to dogs. But we saw that when they were outside, they became superalert,” Huck told Science magazine.  “They scanned their surroundings, sometimes for a half-hour or more on end.”They could also be quite sociable. “[Even] though cats are highly territorial, they didn’t always fight with other cats they encountered,” said Huck. “Often, they just sat a couple of meters away from each other for up to a half an hour. They may have been sizing each other up. Sometimes they would engage in a greeting, briefly touching noses.”The ecologist also told Science magazine cameras could also help provide more insight on how to improve their quality of life as pets. “There is also debate over whether cats should be kept indoors all the time. If we find that cats seem more bored or stressed out when kept indoors — for example, by pacing, like some animals do at the zoo —that means we need to think more about enriching their indoor lives, or giving them some outside time,” Huck said.More on Geek.com:Scientists Attach Cameras to White Sharks to Watch How They Hunt Their PreyHere’s What Happened When Scientists Left Camera Traps to Record Wild ApesEgyptian Fruit Bats Trade Food for Sex, Study Finds Stay on targetlast_img

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