A cooler view of ZSL London Zoo
Tuesday 5 February 2008
Hot-headed penguins and cold-hearted flamingos are revealed in a selection of thermal images giving keepers at ZSL London Zoo a unique view of their animals.
Pictures taken by an amateur photographer using a thermal imaging camera reveal some interesting and unexpected quirks in the animal kingdom – from the cold nose of a sloth to the hot feet of a pelican!
The images show just how well feathers and fur insulate animals, and reveal some more unusual tactics to keep warm including some birds cutting off the blood to one leg to conserve energy. One picture clearly reveals how snug a lion’s mane keeps him while another demonstrates surprising veins of warmth running through a butterfly’s delicate wings.
The photographs were taken using a FLIR civilian thermal imaging camera by amateur photographer Steve Lowe, who kindly donated the photos to the Zoo for use as part of our education programmes.
Zoological Director David Field said: “While these amazing pictures may be more reminiscent of something from the Tate Modern, they give us a unique perspective on how animals regulate their body temperatures.
“Thermal imaging technology can also be used in veterinary diagnostics such that infected areas will sometimes appear very hot.”
The thermal images were taken by amateur photographer Steve Lowe.