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Seeing animals in a new light

(Credit: Chris Lavers)
(Credit: Chris Lavers)

By Jon Cartwright

At first glance these images look like snapshots from that classic eighties sci-fi flick Predator.

It turns out, though, that the pre-eminent being responsible for them is not a brawny, gun-toting alien, but Chris Lavers, a technology lecturer at Britannia Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, UK. The images are infrared portraits of various animals dwelling at Paignton Zoo in Devon.

“I have been involved in thermal imagery for about 10 years now, and thermal imagery of wildlife with Paignton Zoo since 2002,” writes Lavers in an email. “My interest is concerned with highlighting the plight of endangered species under pressure from both man and climate change, deteriorating environments, etc.”

Lavers explains that thermal images can be used to observe animals without stressing them. “It enables a healthy baseline assessment of animals to be established and thereby aids veterinarian diagnosis,” he writes.

Aside from giving giraffes, tortoises and other creatures a once-over, Lavers is also interested in using thermal imaging to copy some of nature’s designs, such as iridescent butterfly wings. These could be employed in future stealth devices, he says.

If you want to see more of Lavers’s images — and are out and about in the south-west of the UK — you can visit his exhibition. It starts on 15 September at Paignton Zoo, and moves onto the Living Coasts zoo in Torquay until the third week of October.

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One comment to Seeing animals in a new light

  1. The eighties was a great and wonderful era to have grown up in or lived in!
    80’s fashion


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