ABC News By JON M. CHANG
Walk by Tasul the polar bear's habitat at the Oregon Zoo and you might find an unusual sight: a GoPro camera attached to her collar. She only wears the collar for an hour at a time, but vigilant zoo visitors might see Tasul channel her inner Spielberg while milling about her swimming pool.
It's far from a home video though. Tasul is actually helping her polar bear brethren in the wild by giving scientists clues at how the bears deal with climate change. One of the answers lies in the technology embedded in the collar: an accelerometer, similar to the one in your phone.
Anthony Pagano, a research wildlife biologist with the US Geological Survey (USGS), rigged Tasul's collar with an accelerometer that tracks Tasul's motion in three dimensions. "It records changes [in position] along three different axes: up and down, back and forth, and side to side," he told ABC News.
Pagano videotapes Tasul as the collar collects movement data. Whenever Tasul walks, eats, swims, and performs other actions, Pagano makes note of it. His goal is to link the behaviors that he observes with the data accumulated by the collar. Once he knows which accelerometer data correspond to which behaviors, he can apply his findings to polar bear data measured in the arctic wilderness. ...more