Big bug brother: Using CCTV to monitor the lives of a whole population
Our study is based in a meadow in Northern Spain, where there is a natural population of crickets with between 60 and 200 adults each year.
We use a network of 140+ CCTV cameras running 24/7 during the cricket breeding season. They have infra-red lighting to see in the dark, and thousands of metres of cabling and optic fibre to take video back to a network of eight computers.
The crickets spend nearly all their time just outside their burrows. We mount cameras above most of the active burrows in the meadow. We record every moment of the crickets' adult lives: Who they meet, whether they mate, fight or run away, and how long it takes before a bird gobbles them up.
Help us analyse our videos here!
As well as help from our supporters analyzing videos via cricket-tales, we are trying to build virtual robots to watch some aspects of the video. We also use tools including MB-Ruler Pro which allows us to extract precise measurements.