Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thank you all and Happy New Year!

It's the last day of the year so we wanted to thank you all for working on Chimp&See with us! Our citizen scientists and moderators are truly amazing and we look forward to a great 2016 with you all, full of new discoveries and fun videos!

A special thank you to the moderators: Quia, Ksigler, AnLand, Jwidness & Yshish for their incredible dedication this year!

Pant Hoots for everyone and wishing you all a great start to the new year!

If you want to see the best videos of 2015 and vote on your favourites like the one of Esme below, go here

Saturday, December 26, 2015

VOTE NOW for the Best of 2015!

Earlier this month, we asked you to think about the best videos on Chimp & See in 2015 in the categories of Favorite Chimp, Funniest Video, Best Camera Reaction, Creepiest Video, Cutest Video, and Biggest Surprise. Thank you for all the amazing nominations!! Now, it's time to vote on them!

We have a survey set up here where you can view the cream of the crop, according to your fellow citizen scientist volunteers and the science team. It's a great chance to look back over the fascinating things we've discovered this year, and give your input on what is the best of the best. (Don't feel bad about playing favorites -- it's an honor just to be nominated! ;-) )

As you view each video, you have the opportunity to give it a score of 1 (low) to 5 (high). Voting ends on Thursday, January 7th. Afterward, we'll tally the scores to find the winners in each category.

Also, the survey is open to anyone (1 entry per computer), so feel free to share this "highlight reel" with family and friends so they can see how much fun you've been having here!

If you have any problems or questions, please let us know. Enjoy, have fun, and may the best clips win!

(Voting takes about 20 minutes, though you are free to vote on as many or as few videos as you'd like. Be sure to submit your votes before January 7, 2016, at 11:00pm EST. Votes are anonymous. One entry per computer.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DailyZoo mongoose vs duiker - last day for 2015 best video nominations!

Last day to nominate your favourite videos of 2015 here:

Like in this mongoose versus duiker clip - who will prevail? ;)

Your chimp&see moderators will be collecting the nomination videos starting tomorrow and final voting will soon follow!

original video here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DailyZoo Great Blue Turaco

We've had lots of great nominations so far and now there are only 2 days left to nominate your favourite videos of 2015. Were these bright great blue turacos one of the biggest surprises we had on camera this year? Nominate your favourites at:

original vid here:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Chimpanzees at night

It’s the 21st of December – Winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere – and with over 16 hours of darkness the longest night here in Europe. These “dark times” motivated us to talk about chimpanzee activity at night and what you can see about it over at Chimp & See.

Chimps are not really known for any nocturnal behavior – in fact, not much is known about it at all in the wild, as research teams observing chimp communities during the day usually leave the group after the chimpanzees have made their nests for the night. Nightly vocalization (e.g., long distance calls) and other activity indicators had been recorded in the wild and in captive (zoo) apes, but the reasons for staying up late or even waking up and any possible activities lie mostly – well – in the dark.

Usually, it is assumed that chimpanzees mostly sleep through the night. In areas where chimpanzees live, sunset and sunrise varies not much seasonally and the length of the night (defined as the dark period between sunset and sunrise) is between 11 and 13 hours with only small changes during the year. Because of relatively poor night vision (like us humans) and with known predators (like leopards) active during the night, it is assumed that chimps generally stay in the safety of their nests through the nighttime hours from dusk until next day’s dawn. Given these considerations, we expected it to be very rare to see the chimpanzees at night.

An adult male balancing across a small creek at 5.33 a.m. (Muddy Frost 7)

Nonetheless, at almost each research site up at Chimp & See until now we have seen at least on one occasion what we call the “nightchimps” – chimpanzees that are caught on camera while it is dark. At most sites, these “nighttime” chimp activities (mostly traveling, some feeding) are during the early hours of the day (just before 6 a.m.) and are not considered very unusual. Depending on the distance to a desired feeding patch (e.g., fruit trees), chimps will get up early enough to reach them – or reach them first if feeding competition is an issue.

This chimpanzee infant is very tired on mom's back at 1.46 a.m. (Dry Lake 11)

But at the current site Dry Lake – the first in a dry savannah habitat in West Africa – we could collect significantly more “nightchimps” videos and several of them with time stamps very late at night. Currently, it is wild speculation why the chimps are active so late and why there are considerably more videos from the very early hours of the day than from other sites. One obvious reason might be the hot climate with day temperatures of over 40 °C during the dry season. Almost all “nightchimps” videos found until now have date stamps from March to May (in 2013) with hot temperatures and numbers of recorded “nightchimps” both peaking in April. The chimpanzees may just avoid the very hot day temperatures and feed and/or travel during the cooler morning and late evening hours. They might also need to forage longer or in a bigger area to find enough food. Other factors (like human pressure and domestic animals) may play a role but need to be analyzed and compared with other research sites. Certainly, something the science team will look into.

A family of three at 8.59 p.m. (Dry Lake 11)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Nominate Your Favorites for the Best of 2015!

We've had a great year at Chimp & See, thanks to you, and along the way, you've discovered some really amazing things caught on the camera traps. We thought it would be fun to look back over the great footage from this year and share some of the best! Who was your favorite chimp? Was there a clip that made you LOL or say "eww," or that was totally unexpected? What were the best and most memorable clips of 2015? Share your favorites, and then we'll vote!

We want to see the best clips in the following categories:

  • Favorite chimp
  • Funniest clip
  • Best camera reaction
  • Creepiest clip
  • Cutest clip
  • Biggest surprise

To nominate your favorites, just post a reply to that includes the clip ID (e.g., ACP0001234) and the category for each nomination. The thread will stay open for 2 weeks so you have time to find your favorites, and if you have trouble narrowing it down, it's okay to nominate more than one clip for a category. Then, we'll collect all the nominations, and you can vote on your favorites for all of 2015.

If you have a clip in mind but can't find it, or you want some ideas, here are some places to look:

Your profile -- scroll down to see your favorites or any collections you made
The master list of chimps
The DailyZoo nominations
Other keyword collections -- browse under the behavior tags (like selfie, surprise, camera reaction, playing, etc.) or by species

Sound like fun? Let's get started! We look forward to seeing your favorites. :-D

Monday, December 7, 2015

DailyZoo: Porcupines with their porcupette

Today I learned: a baby porcupine is called a porcupette

original video here:

Join us at to watch and annotate videos from across Africa!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DailyZoo: Chimpanzee camera test

Not only do we have helpful baboons at but also expert chimpanzee camera testers.

original video here:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Field Guide updated!

A major thank you and tres grand merci to our citizen scientist moderators and especially jwidness for updating our Chimp&See field guide! Hopefully it will be even more helpful now for helping all citizen scientists with their classifications!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Chimp and See (and Hear!) #3

Sometimes, our most interesting discoveries aren’t what we see, but what we hear!  In this series of posts, we’ll share some of the fascinating sounds of Africa that we’ve heard in the Chimp & See project.

This time, we'll let YOU try to guess what the sound is!  In this clip, we see a squirrel, but it’s not the one making all the racket.  Can you guess what is?  Here’s a hint, it is 2 different species of the same kind of animal.

Think you know what animals are making the sound?  Keep reading to find out the answer...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Leopard cubs in Gabon

A little taste of what's to come on Chimp&See (in late 2016 or 2017) and what's happening in the field right now! This is from southeast Gabon and part of our collaborative work with the Agence Nationale Des Parcs Nationaux Du Gabon, The Aspinall Foundation and Panthera.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Baboon Selfie

We're lucky to have such helpful baboons involved with camera adjustments at Dry Lake #selfie #dailyzoo

original video here:

Friday, November 6, 2015

Chimp and See (and Hear!) #2

Sometimes, our most interesting discoveries aren’t what we see, but what we hear!  In this series of posts, we’ll share some of the fascinating sounds of Africa that we’ve heard in the Chimp & See project.

Today, we'll hear from the birds found in West & Central Africa.  Many of our video clips have at least one bird vocalizing in the background, and every once in a while we catch a glimpse of these beautiful animals.  Here are some of the unique birds we've heard during this project!

Included here:
White-breasted guineafowl, Hadada ibis, Long-tailed glossy starling (2 different vocalizations), Yellow-casqued hornbill, White-crested hornbill, and Great blue turaco

To see and hear more from these birds, head over to!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween countdown from Chimp&See!

For the next 10 days we'll been showcasing some of Chimp&See's spookiest videos on facebook and twitter filled with things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day too)! Check back here daily to see what makes our top 10 list!

10) Chimp&See's Spooky Rompo 

We started the countdown with this video from Crimson Dew that sets the tone perfectly and was found by modertaor jwidness. Its just an illusion created by a foggy and wet camera lens (or is it?!? muahhahahahahahah!) or perhaps the legendary Rompo?

original video can be found here:

9) Spiders
We've got some great spider videos on Chimp&See, sometimes they can even be a bit distracting! Citzien scientist Boleyn commented that "because of the #spider I almost missed the #genet" on this video from Muddy frost: 

Also, we suspect that these floaty orbs found by StarwatcherHB and Zanna640 are actually out of focus spiders near the camera lens at Dry Lake but secretly we hope they are benevolent forest spirits like the Kodama or Yumboes 

Here are a few more spider videos to make your skin crawl:

8) Elephantom
Citizen scientist moderator ksigler noted that these elephants seems to appear out of nowhere at Cool Silence. It's amazing how in all of our videos these massive beasts seem to be so unobtrusive in the forest, ghost-like one might say. 

7) Attack of the not so killer bees
Citizen scientist Eswiniarski is pretty sure that this guinea baboon was stung by a bee in this video from Dry Lake. Luckily he seems to have made a quick recovery.

originals here: and 

6) Ghost & Pirate Chimps 
Night mode on our camera traps sometimes makes the chimps look extra ghostly on the videos. Citizen scientist MargC found that our ginger chimp from Dry Lake named Roux looks especially pale in black and white ( and you can see more videos of Roux here:

While matching chimps, we rely on special features that distinguish each chimp from one another.The night videos are often tricky for this purpose since many of the features get washed out in low light. Citizen scientists Eswiniarski and AnLand noticed however that this male chimp from Lingering Shape has a special feature that is probably only seen at night: a right eye that does not reflect any light. 
(original videos: and

5) Fires of Samhain
Before Halloween was Halloween, it was Samhain. And a big part of Samhain is fire. "It is suggested that the fires were a kind of imitative or sympathetic magic – they mimicked the Sun, helping the "powers of growth" and holding back the decay and darkness of winter. They may also have served to symbolically "burn up and destroy all harmful influences".Accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries suggest that the fires (as well as their smoke and ashes) were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers".

We have a lot of fires at our current site Dry Lake and they burn during the day and night. Some are natural due to the dryness of the site and some are set by people for agricultural purposes.

How do chimpanzees react to fire you ask? Check out this paper by Pruetz and LaDuke "Reaction to fire by savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Fongoli, Senegal: Conceptualization of "fire behavior" and the case for a chimpanzee model."

Thanks to citizen scientists starwatcherHBMorra and clt21duke for highlighting these great clips ( , ,

4) The forests have eyes (and they are adorable, I mean spooky)

Thanks to citizen scientists jwidness and snorticus for finding these great clips from Red Water and Dry Lake! ( ,

3) Halloween photobomb
Ever get that feeling that there is sssssssssssome body behind you? Citizen Scientist rlb66xyz 6 noticed that this Cool Silence duiker is being seriously photobombed by a snake slithering towards it in the lower right part of the video right above the duiker's head. Sssssssssssssneaky!

(original video:

2) Going batty
You wouldn't guess that we'd get a lot of bats on our camera traps - but we do! In this clip from Quiet Wood citizen scientist markehurd saw something a bit batty in this red river hog video clip

(original video here:

And If you want to check out more bat videos visit our bat tag group:

1) A potto, a galago and the legend of the egbere
We did not expect to see the more elusive smaller primates like galagos (bushbabies) and pottos in our video footage. But our amazing, observant and patient citizen scientists managed to find both! We end our Halloween countdown with this legend from Nigeria about bushbabies.
Bushbabies in the Yoruba language are called 'egbere' and their legend has been passed from generation to generation. The egbere are little, supernatural human like creatures(or spirits) that wonder through the forest carrying a mat (their tail) and lamp (their eyes). Their unique cry sounds like that of a child or little baby which lures humans to them at night.According to popular folklore, bushbabies are usually encountered by hunters deep in the forests. It is said that anyone who is able to steal an egbere's mat will become rich. But, the person has to withstand 7 days of tribulation caused by the creature who wants its property back and the hunter must not lose site of the mat during this time. During those days, the person will not be able to sleep because of the creature's incessant cries which only he can hear. If the person gives up within the 7 days, the Bush Baby will kill them, the fate that awaits most people who try to steal the egbere's mat!
adapted from and

Click here to see all our galago videos:
and potto videos:

We hope you enjoyed our 10 day countdown and we wish you a very Happy Halloween from Chimp&See!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

1.5 million classifications: Thank you all!

(written by chimp&see moderators jwidness and AnLand)

Chimp and See just hit the amazing 1.5 million classification milestone, and it's thanks to the wonderful work of all of our citizen scientists that we've come so far!  

A big thank you to all our volunteers for their effort and interest!

We're currently working through our first site with footage from savanna habitats and we're seeing many new and interesting animals including a jackal feasting on flying termites, and a couple of individually identifiable warthogs (each with a broken tusk).  (jackal eating termites) (Buster the warthog) (Leroy the warthog)

This little guy and his/her mom are our latest chimpanzee matching success and waiting for their names.

Come join us at and help us discover what else is out there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chimp and See (and Hear!)

Sometimes, our most interesting discoveries aren’t what we see, but what we hear! In this series of posts, we’ll share some of the fascinating sounds of Africa that we’ve heard in the Chimp & See project.

First up - chimps, of course! It is believed that chimpanzees have over 30 types of vocalizations that they use to communicate with each other. Here are a few of the most common types that we’ve caught on video:

Pant-hoots are loud calls for communicating information, especially over a distance. Here, Andrew lets out a pant-hoot from his seat on the ground.

Every individual’s pant-hoot is unique.  For comparison, this clip shows our one-armed friend, Dodge, combining his pant-hoot with thumps against a tree.  This display is referred to as 'drumming.'

Pant-grunts are submissive greetings.  In this clip, we see Teddy seated on the ground using a rock tool.  Bendo, with nuts in his mouth and each hand, makes pant-grunts as he joins Teddy to wait for his turn to use the rock.

Food grunts are made when food is found or while eating.  Here, we see a chimp passing by the camera on his way to a food patch, where (off-screen) other chimps are emitting food grunts.

Victim screams are heard when a chimp is disturbed by a something or is under attack.  In this clip, a female carrying an infant enters an area where a male is eating.  Her screams here indicate her uncertainty of the situation.  Her body language also communicates submissiveness to the male.

That’s all for now, but we have many more vocal chimps over at Chimp & See!  Check them out: 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Dry Lake Lion!

#DailyZoo User jim pea found our first West African Lion! 

(thanks to moderator AnLand for tweeting it first!)

Sunday, October 11, 2015


‪#‎DailyZoo‬ - Users Eswiniarski, ksigler and Boleyn just had the following exchange about this video:

> That's risky business..
> That's why it's a quickie :)

Click here to see what they're talking about:

and visit to help us annotate our camera trap videos from across Africa!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

DailyZoo Roux

‪#‎DailyZoo‬: Citizen Scientist @Snorticus found this great video and screen capture of the chimpanzee named ‪#‎Roux‬

Join the discussions here:

and here:

and join us on to help us classify camera trap videos from across Africa!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Red Chimp from Dry Lake - Roux

A new site called Dry Lake is up on and we have lots of new species at this site which features chimps living in a savannah-woodland habitat. We are seeing a lot of things we haven't seen before like this gorgeous brown/red female chimp!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lianas, delicious fruits, and a chimp's hand

The current site Lingering Shape in West Africa has two special features: extensive scenes of chimps savoring fruits and exciting footage of them crossing a flooded area swinging in lianas. Both features combined helped us to identify here one very special chimp.

We first paid attention to him when he crossed the flooded creek with a group of male chimps. Adult male chimps do not swing elegantly and dynamic on lianas as you might imagine. Their body size and weight urge them to be careful and slowly climb or walk on the unstable path. So, it surprised us that one of them carried something in his hand while crossing although he had rather difficulties keeping his balance. We only saw his dark back and part of an ear, so trying to match him seemed next to impossible.
Even while having a hard time to cross a flooded area, this chimp does not use his right hand for climbing (link to video)

Days later and later again, we found more videos of a dark male carrying something in his hand while walking alone or with others. As we had now seen in other videos with how much gusto the chimps fed on fruits, jokes starting around (“gourmand or gourmet?”) as he apparently always brought his own snacks. But after five or so different scenes, ascertainment that it is always his right hand kept curled in front him, and looking closely at this hand, we were wondering whether there was actually something in it. Most pictures were from quite a distance, but we could not see anything in his hand. What we could now say with the additional footage: there is a chimp with dark fur and a prominent brow ridge who is quite bald and walks always a bit hunched as he uses only one hand for knuckle-walking. We started a discussion thread “Adult male – the right hand issue” to talk about this. 

Always walking with his right hand carried in front of him (link to video)

We then remembered that we had earlier found a male chimp in the long feeding scenes that we described as somehow hunched. Our citizen scientist “Boleyn” had proposed the match based on two different scenes and named him Ebony for his very dark fur. The facial features like the prominent brow ridge fit “our” chimp very good. Reviewing all videos with Ebony, we saw that he also did not use his right hand for walking or standing up. At the time of the original matching we did not think about it much as he and other chimps were gathering fruits – picking them up with one hand, sniffing to determine ripeness, and collecting them in the other hand. That is what you expect of chimps feeding in a fruit “garden”. By looking closer into his right hand – and in striking comparison to a hand full of fruits of his buddy Rufus, we could now see that there was indeed nothing in his hand. Putting once a fruit in his right hand, we saw it rolling away. 

Ebony's damaged right hand is of no use for holding fruits (link to video)
In contrast to this, Rufus' hand is filled with delicious fruits (link to video)
We suspect that his right hand is somehow damaged, cannot really grab and support him while walking – or hanging in lianas. But then, this characteristic helped us to determine his identity.

We are not sure what happened to Ebony’s hand and whether it is a permanent injury or something he will recover from, but this special trait helped us at Chimp&See to identify this chimp. It was a great detective work of everyone involved.

We welcome you at Chimp&See! Come over to watch and try to help us match chimpanzees; if you find a match you can even name that chimp!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Site completed: End of Crimson Dew

Two weeks ago we completed the classification of yet another research site: Crimson Dew in West Africa. It is the seventh completed site since the start of Chimp&See and maybe the most successful one now. While classifying around 20,000 videos from this site, citizen scientists found over 750 of them containing chimps – far more than we have seen from other sites. Furthermore, we could identify a higher percentile of individual chimpanzees than before. This shows the steep learning curve of our citizen scientists, but is also caused by an apparent smaller community of chimps that has some very special and rememberable members. This blog already talked about some of them.
Of course, there is always a number of videos without a confirmed chimp ID. Sometimes only an arm is seen, the chimps are traveling too fast, it is too dark, or they just do not show their faces or any other identifiable traits. The hilly landscape and the habit of the Crimson Dew chimps to travel together in groups made it not always easy to identify single members, but produced some great video footage.

The videos are now double-checked by the science team and subsequently analyzed to answer the ecological and behavioral questions of the project.

We would like to thank all our amazing citizen scientists involved in the classification of videos and identification of individual chimpanzees at Crimson Dew and hope you enjoy the new site Lingering Shape!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday- Welcome back to Quiet Wood :)

After getting lots of experience in matching chimps from camera traps and gathering a dedicated crowd of very skilled citizen scientists, we decided to take a small step back to look again into unsolved matching proposals and chimps without any match at all from earlier sites.

Starting this Thursday is Quiet Wood, a site in Central Africa. As the classification of thousands of videos is already done, all participants can concentrate on the almost 200 chimp videos found, enjoy watching them again and find some new matches.

Here is how it works: we collected all chimp video IDs (partly with additional information) in an open spreadsheet. You can start the videos directly from the weblinks provided there. A list of Known and Prospective Chimps and several older discussions help with orientation if you are new to this site. If you would like to propose a match or discuss anything related to the videos you can open a new discussion in the respective science forum or add to an existing discussion here.

Come over to Quiet Wood and have a look!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A glitch in the matrix

This great line of white breasted guineafowl was found by citizen scientist 'Snorticus'. #DailyZoo

Join the conversation here:

and help us classify videos at !

Monday, September 14, 2015

Matching chimps on Chimp&See and happy surprises that make us check our assumptions!

Happy surprises and checking our assumptions!

When we try to figure out if we are seeing the same chimp in 2 different videos, we very often use secondary clues to figure out if we are looking at the same indivdual or not. For example, if a female is carrying a baby, we often assume that when we see her in other videos she will still be carrying that baby (this is because chimpanzees stay in close contact with their moms for the first 4 to 5 years of their lives). Our cameras are up at each field site for about 12-15 months so we do not expect big changes in growth or appearance, and we can always check the time/date stamp if we suspect something of that nature.

This is exactly how our intrepid citizen scientists figured out that indivduals we had identified as "Maggie" (a female) and "Ollie" (a female with a baby named "Chibi") were actually the same individual! Our amazing citizen scientist moderator "AnLand" started it all with this post:

In the end we went with calling this female Maggie-Ollie, just to make sure we cover all of our bases and to keep it simplest for downstream data analyses. Maggie-Ollie is identified by:
A female with a little cut in the right ear, undamaged left ear. Bald forehead. Whitish beard and eyebrows. Not very robust. Left eyebrow is slightly inclined. Deep wrinkles under the nose, round head and big mouth, and small ventral infant.

If you want to follow along here is the summary of the videos:

Here is the original Ollie/Chibi discussion:

and here is the original Maggie discussion:

If you have some extra time give it a go and join us at identifying unique chimpanzees! Hopefully you will find it fun to get to know the chimps and tell them apart too :)

Chimpanzee Matching

Our citizen science moderators have written some great posts about how to get started on matching and naming chimpanzees from different videos. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Elephant Excitement

Users 'aquitanian' and 'ksigler' pointed out this great elephant clip for #DailyZoo. Seems like some major excitement in the forest!

see the video here:

and join the discussion on elephant vocalizations here:

Help us classify videos at !

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pygmy Hippo Yawn

User 'LJE' found this great video of a pygmy hippo yawning and user 'yshish' suggested it for #DailyZoo posting. 

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon ;)

Video can be found here: 

Visit to help us annotate camera trap vides from across Africa

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chimp River Cross

We recently uploaded a new field site to Chimp&See and user "Orohena" found this great sequence of chimps crossing a river via some lyanas! 

No matches have been made for these guys yet so there is still a chance to find these chimps in other videos, make matches and give them names! Join the discussion here:

videos here:

Help us classify videos at

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Jane Goodall's original notes for identifying chimpanzees

The Jane Goodal Instiute shared these original notes by Dr Goodall herself on how to identify chimps -very useful for everyone trying to match chimps on Chimp&See!

If you want to help us identify chimps (and name a chimp if you make a match!) check out these discussions to get started:

via The Leakey Foundation facebook page