crittercam
n. A camera attached to a wild animal. Also: critter-cam.

Example Citations:
The latest wrinkle in animal observation is "crittercams." The cameras are fitted onto wild creatures so scientists learn not only where they go, but what they're looking at.
—Jan TenBruggencate, "Hawai'i's Environment," The Honolulu Advertiser, March 1, 2004

Whoever suggested that curiosity kills cats should consult Greg Marshall, a biologist and the inventor of National Geographic's Crittercam. He and his team of engineers recently mounted a camera in a harness on the torso of Molly, a domestic cat, to monitor her nocturnal behavior. Molly returned unscathed from her meanderings, as did her gear. The only casualties were the rats Molly often kills in her sorties, now caught on video. ...

Mr. Marshall built the first Crittercam in the late 1980's. While videotaping marine animals in Belize, he was inspired to streamline an underwater camera he had built so that it would resemble, at least in shape, a remora — a suckerfish that attaches itself to sharks. Inside a PVC plastic shell was the main mechanism of one of Sony's first 8-millimeter videotape camcorders, separated from its housing. The introduction of compact 8-millimeter tape was one innovation that made crittercam possible.
—Wilson Rothman, "Reality TV Takes a Twist as a Kingdom Bares Its Secrets," The New York Times, April 15, 2004

Earliest Citation:
Another problem in underwater filming is that some creatures are prone to either flee or attack. The solution, say some cinematographers, is Crittercam.

''We've been trying to get away from that classic 'diver in the cage, blood in the water thing,' and film the natural behavior of this animal,'' says National Geographic producer Paul Atkins, who is filming a special on great white sharks.

The new Crittercam technology involves a small Sony Hi-8 camera tethered to a mount that's attached to the animal by a dart.
—Russell Shaw, "Nature TV evolves with technology," Electronic Media, April 12, 1993

Related Words:

Categories: