Many people can only say that they have seen wild animals through pictures, in the zoo, or on a safari. All of these ways of seeing wild animals are disruptive to their habitat and so you never get to see what they are truly doing in the wild. The Smithsonian Institution has recently released a website with pictures and video clips of animals in the natural habitat from hidden cameras throughout forests and jungles in China, Kenya, Malaysia, Panama, Peru, Thailand, and the United States.
These cameras give us an up close and personal look at the lives of wild animals with the absence of humans. Our presence in the wild scares the animals and causes them to retreat back into their homes, so this is a great way to see what they do while we are not there. The following video from Richard Byrne, of the blog Free Technology for Teachers, is about his take on the Smithsonian Wild website.
The website has 250 different species you can look up with pictures of all different quality and from different times of day. Blue Raster blog says that the website, “also offers detailed descriptions of the diverse animals and regions as well as a world map so the user is always aware where the animal being observed is located.”
In education this could be used while introducing different animals and habitats to students in younger grades. This is a great way for kids to see animals in their natural habitats without the presence of humans. One lesson you could do with your students on this website is have them explore the site, choose their favorite animal and present it to the class with a poster board and a brief explanation of the animal’s habits.
Some websites where you can learn more about Smithsonian Wild are: