New relationships between humans and animals
Digital technologies open new relationships between humans and animals. With sensors, ARGOS-GPS satellite systems and mini-cameras, scientists can now collect data on animal migration and behaviors on an unprecedented scale. Elephant seals collect crucial data when diving on the Southern Ocean
“The elephant seals will go down, dive, collect good information, then come back to the surface, and this information will be transmitted by satellite almost in real time to us in Australia.”
Clive McMahon, Manager, Integrated Satellite Observing System (SIMS) Satellite Tracking Operations at the Sydney Institute of Ocean Sciences.
Elephant seals plunge almost continuously while at sea, collecting information on temperature and salinity wherever they go and giving scientists new information on remote and inaccessible places before. The sensors measure the temperature, depth and salinity when the seal swam and dive – sometimes at depths of more than 2 kilometers. The data is then retransmitted to SIMS, giving scientists crucial information about ocean currents and where they are formed, as well as about elephant seals to better protect them. Today, there are about 300 animals with instruments on their heads swimming around the polar region.