Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why Are Chipmunks Wearing Mini Spy Microphones?

Miniature Russian spyware is infiltrating an underground Canadian community.

The perpetrators? Scientists studying how eastern chipmunks communicate. For the first time, the team has outfitted the little striped animals with collars bearing inch-long (2.8 centimeters) microphones, the world's smallest digital recording device, according to Guinness World Records.

Using these espionage tools, the team recorded, analyzed, and decoded constant chipmunk chatter, instead of relying on static microphones that had previously limited scientists in understanding the secret lives of wildlife.

So far, the hardy microphones, deployed on chipmunks in southern Quebec's Green Mountains Nature Reserve, have provided unprecedented data on how and when chipmunks call, which is helping reveal the burrowing rodents' individual personalities. more w/video