Sunday, December 10, 2017

Best of 2017: Nominate your favorite video clips!

Hi everybody!

We’ve had a really wonderful year at Chimp&See, thanks to all of you, your massive help with classifications and chimp matching, and your interest in our project!

As in 2015 and 2016, we want to wrap up this year again with a “Best of” event asking you to show us your favorite videos from this year and then let the community vote for the Top 2 in each category.

We would love to see your favorite clips in the following categories:
  • Favorite chimp!
  • Funniest clip!
  • Best camera reaction!
  • Creepiest clip!
  • Biggest surprise!

Here is how it’s working:

1) Head over to Chimp&See and nominate 1 clip per category. It's okay to pick the same clip for more than one category, or the same clip as someone else.

2) We only want to include clips from sites that we’ve worked on predominantly this year. So all nominations should come from Aged Violet and Green Snowflake only.

To nominate your favorites, post a reply in the new thread at Talk that includes the category and video ID for each nomination. This thread stays open for nominations until December 22, so take your time to find and post the best clips, cutest chimp, and most surprising discovery. We will then collect all nominations, and you can vote on the Best of 2017!

Please just remember, the clips have to come from Aged Violet and Green Snowflake.

We look forward to seeing what you loved most on Chimp&See in 2017!

Friday, November 17, 2017

@RingwoodEco LOVES @ChimpandSee!

We got a super awesome tweet this week from the Sustainability Group for Ringwood School :D Pant hoots and thanks to this great group for their work on!

Have a pic of you or your group working on Chimp&See? Send it to us by facebook or twitter!

Original post at :

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fantastic Beasts and How to ClassiFind Them: Pri-matrix Factorization Competition

We've partnered with Driven Data and the ARCUS foundation to offer a new €20,000 challenge that takes data scientists deep into the jungles of Africa. Camera traps are useful for non-invasive observation of wildlife and have the potential to free up huge amounts of research time -- but they can't yet automatically flag and label the species they observe.

In this project, a global community has annotated videos through the Chimp&See Zooniverse project, and now its time for the data scientist community to turn those labels into algorithms! You'll find here one of the largest labeled camera trap datasets for you to practice your skills and help researchers delve into the secrets of life on Earth!

Utilizing both crowdsourced labels as well as crowdsourced algorithms, this ambitious computer vision competition is in a league of its own. The winning techniques developed here will provide a starting point for production-level automated species tagging for use in camera trap systems around the world. By decreasing the time that experts spend watching empty footage, we can improve their ability to focus on the outcomes that matter most.

On Chimp&See people from around the world have been recording what they see in each video but they also carry out more complex tasks such as identifying unique chimpanzee individuals and tagging primates and other animals to the species level. With this competition we hope to use machine learning to accomplish the first task more time efficiently thereby allowing citizen scientists to focus on the more complex tasks of the project!

For more info check out the DrivenData blog and the competition!

Friday, October 13, 2017

New Chimp Matching Video Tutorial

As you know, the Chimp and See project includes several different activities: classifying all video clips, tagging of specific species and behaviors, and matching of individual chimps (and in the last year, leopards).  One of the comments we often hear from our newer volunteers is that they have trouble telling one chimp from another.  It does take practice, but to help speed up the learning process, the moderator team at Chimp and See would like to announce a new video tutorial!

In, "How to Recognize Chimpanzee Faces," you'll learn a step-by-step technique that shows you what to look for and how to compare individuals to find a match.  It's loosely based on a concept used by sketch artists and facial recognition software, and is simple enough for anyone to follow and put to use.  We'd love to have more of you join us in chimp matching, so if you don't have the hang of it yet, or have been hesitant to try, take a look at the new tutorial:

(14 mins., English)

When you're ready, you can practice what you've learned with the chimps on our newest site, Green Snowflake!  See you there!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Aged Violet is finished!

Aged Violet has been the largest research site we’ve worked on so far – and we finally finished it a few days ago! Thanks to everyone who was involved in the classification of nearly 100,000 clips and with chimp matching! 

A review blogpost of this site needs to start with its most discussed feature – the very many duiker videos. Those small to medium-sized antelope- or deer-like herbivores (small grey duikers aka Maxwell’s duikers, as well as the red ones: Brooke’s and Bay duikers) have been just everywhere. Even very patient and enthusiastic long-term volunteers spoke about that we should re-name the project to “DuikerWatch” as there were so many videos of them. Sometimes the duikers reacted to the camera and stretched their necks very long to see (but mostly sniff) what might be there. They are usually getting along very good with the monkey species and forage together on the forest floor.

Only three of many duikers we've seen at Aged Violet

Aged Violet also presented us the best footage of leopards of all sites. We were able to watch powerful big males on prowl in bright daylight – allowing us to identify them on the individual level in the leopard matching project. We’ve seen at least two leopard moms with a cub and a first for us – a leopard female with prey after a successful hunt. We will work furthermore on these videos in the leopard mini-project.

But the highlight of this site – well, of every site – have been the chimpanzees, of course. The Aged Violet chimp community is not very big, but has some members that were at the same time easily recognizable and outstanding as individuals. There is Filou – an older male with torn ears and scars on the back, who adopted and carries around a male infant we named Marlyn, and is seen often with his “kindergarten”: Marlyn; Kamala, another small juvenile that accompanies them almost permanently; and Sabirah, a young adolescent female is often around, too.
On the other hand, Jojo-Crann, an adolescent male, spends most of his time closely following his mom Makena who cares for a young infant. Makena’s slim figure, gray back and a damaged right ear made her easily recognizable to us. In addition, she does not like carrying her infant girl ventrally and swoops her on her back, when the little one managed to get on her belly in frightening situations, like when Makena crosses a small river.
Another individual to remember is smiling Lya. She is a young female with an enormous swelling that should be very attractive to the males here. Her broad face, the coloration of it and the form of the muzzle let her look like as if broadly smiling all the time.

We could observe the Aged Violet chimps in big traveling parties, skillful cracking nuts, and just relaxing and playing. We still have a number of open matching discussions at Aged Violet and did not name all the cute chimp infants, so your help is still wanted and maybe you get the chance to name a chimpanzee!

The project is, of course not finished with this site! Recently, we opened a new site in Eastern Africa – Green Snowflake – with new chimps and great footage of red colobus monkeys.  

Jump over to Chimp&See to help us classify African wildlife and try your hand at chimp matching!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Animal Selfies update October 2017!

Originally posted on Talk by Ammie Kalan: 

Hi everyone!
I’d like to take a moment to update you about the animal selfies project.
First of all, I want to thank you all for assisting me with this project by finding and tagging all camera reactions. It is a tremendous help to not only annotate the camera reactions in the classification step, but also tagging them here on Talk to allow discussions about the videos and to build tag group collections. Volunteers have already tagged almost 200 elephant camera reactions from all sites, 42 camera reactions of gorillas, more than 800 camera reactions from chimps, and many more curious baboons. This is amazing!!! We now have a solid and ever growing database for looking at how wild animals respond to camera-traps. 

As new volunteers are joining the project all the time and others might have forgotten, I want to take the opportunity to remind everyone on the purpose of this project and how you can help. I am looking into the camera reactions of chimps and gorillas (foremost) and of baboons and elephants (secondarily). I am investigating behavioral differences towards the cameras on the individual level and across different communities and sites, as well as species. The baboon and elephant data will be coded and analyzed in a second step since it is necessary to identify elephants and baboons individually (or at least to the group level) as we do it here at Chimp&See with chimps and gorillas. At the moment, this is not possible – so the apes have priority – but this will hopefully be accomplished later. Therefore, tags and videos from more sites here at Chimp&See with those four species can always be incorporated in future studies.
 I am specifically asking for your help to tag all camera reactions of these species (chimps, gorillas, baboons, and elephants) with #camera_reaction or #selfie, and to add #camtouch, if the camera is touched. An important step in this process is to also make sure that the species #chimp, #gorilla, #baboon, #elephant, and the site name, e.g., #GreenSnowflake, is tagged too.
 Thank you again for all your help! If you have any questions, please ask them here!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Paul Tehoda wins best poster at APS 2017!

We are very proud to announce that our collaborator Paul Tehoda won the best poster prize at the Inaugural Congress of the African Primatological Society - APS in Bingerville, Ivory Coast last month!

His work "Photographic Records Of Ghana’s Elusive Chimpanzee And Its Conservation Status" was made possible thanks to the collaboration between the PanAf and the research group of Dr. Emmanuel Danquah at the Department of Wildlife and Range Management and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana :)

Congratulations Paul!!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Elephant communication 🐘

Elephants have complex ways of communicating with each other that involve olfactory, visual, tactile and auditory signals.

They are highly social mammals that live in very complex societies. In this sense, the acoustic communication plays an essential role in locating individuals and maintaining intra- and inter-group cohesion.

The elephant society is a fission-fusion model where individuals aggregate and dissociate based on ecological stressors and other factors such as predator pressures, calf care, and mate selection. As explained in “#ElephantTuesdays: oh mama! a female´s role, the core unit of the elephant social structure is the family unit which consists of an adult female and her offspring. Family units that are found to be highly associated are bond groups. To maintain cohesion and coordination of the family group and association with bond groups, numerous tactile and visual communication cues are used along with a complex system of auditory signals.

Elephants produce a broad range of higher frequency sounds like barks, roars, cries and snorts. But
the most frequently used sounds they produce are the “rumbles”. Rumbles are very low frequency sounds that were originally thought to be originated in the elephant´s stomach (stomach rumbles). These low frequency sounds can reach up to 2 kilometers (Langbauer et al. 1991, McComb et al. 2003) and are used for communication between and within family herds over large distances.

If we compare the range of frequencies used by elephants with those used by humans, we can get an idea of how amazingly low these rumble frequencies can be: a typical human´s voice in speech is about 110 Hz for men, 220 Hz for women and 300 Hz for children, while a typical male rumble is about 12, a female´s rumble is about 13Hz and a calf´s 22Hz.

Original video: ACP000dlbi

It is known that the frequency of the sound is correlated to the level of excitement of the elephant; they produce low frequency sounds when they are in a low level of excitement. These sounds are used to promote group cohesion. In contrast, high frequency sounds are present when the elephants are highly excited.

They are not only great at producing sounds, but also at localizing them: it has been suggested that the larger the space between an elephant´s ears (inter-aural space), the better the ability at localizing sounds, so they extend their ears perpendicularly to their heads in order to localize sounds.

When an elephant rumbles, a replica of the airborne sound is also transmitted through the ground. Seismic communication could supplement airborne communication or be especially beneficial when airborne conditions are not ideal for transmission. (O'Connell-Rodwell, C.E. 2007. Keeping an "ear" to the ground: Seismic communication in elephants. Physiology 22:287-294.).

Elephants also use other senses to communicate, like their vision. Here we talk about visual communication: if you watch an elephant for a long while, you will see a large repertoire of visual signals that they perform to communicate with one another (or with other species) by using their heads, eyes, mouth, ears, trunk, tail, feet and their whole body. So, if you happen to be in front of an elephant and s/he starts run to you, head up high above his/her shoulders, spread ears, you´d better run fast if you have the chance, or start your car and speed up! S/he is telling you that you are not welcomed; it´s a threatening or dominant signal. A subordinate elephant carries his/her head low and his/her ears back. A socially excited elephant rapidly flaps his/her ears, eyes open. A frightened or excited one raises his/her tail and chin, remember?

Original video: ACP0000b7b

You all might remember the blog post about the “elephant trunk”, talking about the elephant´s trunk abilities. They are very tactile animals that touch each other with their entire body to communicate in several contexts like defensive, sexual, playful behaviors etc.

But the trunk is the part of their body with which they more often touch each other to communicate. Remember this video? a beautiful example of tactile communication:

Original videos: ACP000cb8k ACP000cb8l ACP000cb8n

They also use chemical signals to communicate. Trunks up to sniff the air, exploring the ground for urine trails etc., sniffing genitals, mouths, glands or ears of partners…chemical communication gives an efficient long-lasting signal.

Original video: ACP0002p30

Anyone interested in learning more about elephant communication, this is a very interesting visual guide: "What Elephant Calls Mean: A User's Guide" published by National Geographic in 2014

Thanks for reading :-)


Langbauer Jr., W.R. 2000. Elephant Communication
Berg, J.K. 1983. Vocalizations and associated behaviours of the African elephant Loxodonta africana in captivity.
Elephant Voices:

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What do we do in our spare time?

When you have a job and two small kids, talking about spare time is often very optimistic. But somehow, Ingo and I manage to find some activities that we can share with our kids and that really make our day.

Although on chimpandsee we always are studying chimps in the wild, we also are involved with captive chimps sometimes, taking great care for their welfare when they are housed in zoos and sanctuaries. If it was somehow possible, believe me, I myself would open each and every  gate to release the animals. But I´m not intending to start a debate about zoos here; as sad as it often feels, zoos do exist and we need to care.

So, years ago Ingo and I founded an association devoted to animal protection called Kalinga. One of the many goals of Kalinga is to lend a helping hand to the zoos that might need and want it (usually those in the developing countries).

We work mainly, but not exclusively, with elephants in things related to enrichment, foot care, protected contact (PC), improvement of infrastructures, and more general things like environmental education.

For our latest project we didn´t have to travel too far, as it took place here in Germany, in Baden-Württemberg, in a small zoo called Leintalzoo. This zoo is run by an experienced family, and holds the biggest harmonious group of chimps in Germany (33 individuals).  The chimps installation might be shocking at first, especially because we are nowadays used to seeing those big zoos where the animals are kept in islands surrounded by water, so you basically see no barrier, which gives you the feeling of "freedom". But actually, there is a barrier: the water. So, all the space that the water occupies is lost space for the animals. But humans see no gates.

In the Leintalzoo you do see barriers, big iron cages to be more specific. This is really shocking, but put it this way: chimps can move in all three dimensions. They not only can walk, but they can also climb. In fact, the chimps in this zoo have amazing muscles!

Anyway, the chimps enclosure was too empty and boring for our taste. We had to do something!. It wasn´t clear to us if the owners were going to be very happy if we barged in, but after offering our help, they gave us green-light to go ahead :-) . 

We got some fire hoses from the Böblingen Fire Department and we used them to build and hang lianas and hammocks. This is what happened:

this is what the chimps installation looked like: 

Getting started: hanging lianas:

Next step: the hammocks: 

And the very best part of all: the chimps reaction: 

There´s still soooooo much to do, but we are moving in the right direction.

I hope you liked it :-)

@Pugli and @NuriaM

Friday, August 25, 2017

#Matchmaking: this gal needs your help!

A few days ago our volunteer @daleh made their first post at chimpandsee talk. Even if they were not able to determine which chimp it was we loved this post because it showed that you, dear volunteers are trying!

The mystery of the lady was soon solved but alas! there is another female chimp in the same video sequence who gives us a hard time.

There are already some suggestions but we'd like to hear other opinions. Maybe you, yes YOU could jump in and help to identify her? We'd be thrilled to see other volunteers following @daleh's example and posting for the first time. Of course we're also excited about posts of our more routined citizen scientists! The more, the better! We're talking about the female further down not the first in the thread.

Now hop over to the discussion and tell us Who is this female?

You'll find all the female chimps to compare her with  in the prospective / known chimps list from Aged-Violet.

Thank you for being part of our chimpandsee-family!

Friday, August 4, 2017

#MatchMaking: Do Juno Who This Chimp Is?

Greetings!  It's time for another matchmaking challenge, and this time, we go back to our very first site -- Quiet Wood 1!  Let's see if you can help us match these chimps from way back in our early days:

First, we have a known adult female chimp, named Juno, along with her infant, Jay.  Juno is a larger female, with sparse hair, lots of gray (especially on the back), and a square balding head.  Jay is a medium-sized infant, still with the infant's white tuft of hair on the rear end, a face that is a bit orange in color, and very prominent round ears.

You can see more of Juno and Jay in this collection of video clips.

We also have another mother/infant pair at Quiet Wood who some people think might really be Juno and Jay.  Here's where we could use a few more opinions.  Take a look at the image below:

You can also view the full video clip here.

As you can see, this female has a similar build, similar coloration, and the infant also looks similar.  But are they really the same?  Look closely.  What do you think?

Feel free to share your thoughts below, or you can help us sort out this and other matches on the discussion board at Chimp & See.  Until next time -- happy matchmaking!

Friday, July 28, 2017

#MatchMaking: Talib edition

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match!

Welcome to another edition of chimp matching 🐵

One of the goals at Chimp&See is to take videos that have been found containing chimpanzees and identify individual animals.  To do this, we compare videos and attempt to “match” animals that have identical physical features.  Anyone is allowed to propose a match, but multiple people must be in agreement before a potential match is confirmed by a site scientist.

This week’s featured potential match is from Restless Star.  Here we have an identified chimp named Talib:

And then we have two other individuals.  These two appear to be a match to each other (hence the temporary IDs of RSMale09 and RSMale09b), although it has not been confirmed:
Side-by-side courtesy of @NuriaM

Compare the above images. Consider things like overall body size and shape, head shape and facial features, as well as balding patterns, scars and deformities (if any exist).  So, what do you think? Is GSMale09 a match to Talib?  What about GSMale09b? Is it the same individual in each image?  Why do you think so?  What characteristics make you think they do or do not match?

Bring your comments over to the discussion at Chimp&See Talk.  There are more images and videos available on Talk for those wanting a better look.  You can also comment below.  The more feedback received, the more confident we can be in our determination, match or no match, so come tell us what you think!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

#MatchMaking: Male at Aged Volet

This week we like to get your opinion about a handsome male. And it's easy as a-b-c - literally!

He is a fully grown-up adult with mostly black hair. His eyebrows are rather straigt, the mask around the eyes is black and the muzzle slightly brighter. The ears stick out a little. There might be some baldness on his forehead but we don't know exactly the shape and size of it due to the lighting conditions.

Have a closer look at him in the videos on Chimp & See: clip 1   clip2

In our discussion on talk we already ruled out the proposed match to Caruso. Now we have two possibilities left. The first one is Magnus and the second one is Baron. On purpose we don't give either of their descriptions here to not bias you. We'd like you to come up with your own opinion. The next two collages show the two males:

Here's our question: Do you think the male above is 

a) Magnus
b) Baron, or
c) none of the two

Have you decided yet? Then please head over to the ongoing discussion on talk and tell us what you think. You can also just leave the respective letter a, b or c, if you prefer. We very much appreciate your participation!

Thank you and see you at Chimp & See where the brandnew site "Green Snowflake" is up and running!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Birds of a feather

If you’ve been browsing the discussion boards on Chimp&See Talk, you may have noticed there is a new species guide: Identifying Birds.  The guide is meant to serve as a starting point for those wanting to improve their ID skills for the birds we see at C&S.  I know I certainly got more acquainted with the birds we have seen while writing the guide and I feel more confident identifying species now. I hope the guide helps others to do the same!

Screenshot of a portion of the bird guide

The guide can be found in The Objects section of the Help board or simply click on the link above.
The guide groups species by broad, shared characteristics that should be discernible even to those inexperienced with bird ID (poultry-like birds, predatory birds, etc.).  There is also a list of species we most often encounter at the top of the guide, so check those descriptions first if you are uncertain where to begin.  Each species has a short physical description as well as images and links to videos from C&S to aid in identification.

Thank you to all the moderators who provided help and feedback for the guide and to everyone for their continuing efforts with the C&S project!

Fly high and happy tagging!

Friday, July 14, 2017

#MatchMaking: Dry Lake juveniles

This new post in our chimp matching series introduces a current proposal at Chimp & See, and asks you to help us decide if they match or not.  This week, we're looking at some of the juveniles from the Dry Lake 11 site.

First, we have a young chimp known as DL11Juv15 (for the Dry Lake 11 site, the 15th juvenile found):

We believe this is a male chimp, and our volunteers have described him as a large juvenile with a long, overall dark face.  We also see round ears that stick out on the side, and thin brows with a tiny bald spot at the hairline between them.  We also see a bald patch in the hair on his left arm near the elbow, and on the left shoulder.

Here are the full video clips of this chimp: Clip 1, Clip 2, Clip 3

Now, here is another young chimp from Dry Lake (the one on the left):

He or she is similar in size to our DL11Juv15.  Our volunteers describe him or her as having even face coloration, ears that stick out, a tiny bald spot in the middle of the brows, and a bald spot on the right shoulder.

Here are the full video clips of this chimp (it's the one that looks at the camera and then walks toward it): Clip 1, Clip 2

Finally, we have this juvenile from Dry Lake (the one on the left):

We don't see much, but our volunteers see a similar body size as the other two juveniles.  S/he also appears to have bald spots on both shoulders, as well as a hairless right wrist.  The only missing feature seems to be the bald spot above the brow.

Here is the full video clip of this chimp (again, the one who begins on the left and leaves around :04 seconds): Clip

What do you think?

Are these chimps matches to each other?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below, or join our ongoing discussion over at Chimp & See.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

#MatchMaking: An adult female with an infant

This new posting in our chimpmatching series introduces a currently discussed match proposal at Chimp&See and invites you to review and get involved.

First up are two slightly overexposed videos of an adult female with an infant. We think, she might be Sita and her offspring Nini from the Cool Silence site. The colored footage is from the "known" chimp Sita.

Like Sita, this female is very bald, has a barrel-like upper body and skinny legs. The eye brows are arched, but not prominently protruded. The nostrils have a hawkish appearance that is reversed by a very rounded muzzle. Her rectangular face is irregularly colored with pinkish pigments around the eyes and at the upper part of the muzzle. These coloration differences can also be seen in the black-and-white footage.

proposed match sequence 1 here and here

proposed match sequence 2 here and here

all known videos from Sita can be found here

Most notable are the irregular formed ears. They both stick out quite a bit. The left one is probably just a bit strangely grown; the right ear is seriously deformed (maybe even cut).

The roundish swelling is not much protruded.

What do you think? Could this be the same female?

Please keep in mind that these are camera trap videos from an unknown (unhabituated) chimpanzee population, so we don’t have the ultimate answer whether this is a match or not either! 

If this posting got you interested in our matching discussions, please come over to the discussion forum and get involved.  

We are very much interested in your opinion!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thank You!!!

From the absolute bottom of our hearts the PanAf science team wants to thank you guys for making this 2nd Anniversary at Chimp&See so special!

We started this project hoping that the videos we've been recording since 2010 would capture some minds and hearts but we never knew how amazing of a community we would be fortunate enough to build as well.

We are of course excited for the science, for all the analyses we're gonna be able to do thanks to YOU guys! But we are equally excited about getting people involved and excited about conservation and animal behaviour. We hope this window into chimpanzee habitats, that will be taking us to 14 different African nations by the time we are done, shines a strong and bright light on how important it is to protect these areas :)

A massive thank you to everyone who has been involved in classifications for the past 2 years and if you haven't been to Talk yet, please come and visit!!! Lurk for a while and then join in the conversation :) You can get involved in chimp matching, tagging camera reactions, discussing your favourite videos or anything to do with science, behaviour, conservation, or anything at all really! The Chimp&See Talk community is really my favourite place to go everyday - catch up on the "meet our citizen scientists" series if you missed it last week :)

We want to specifically thank our moderators again for all they do and for staying so motivated and engaged and dealing with the science team's noobiness when it comes to all of this. Especially to Anja and Kris who organized all of this year's Anniversary activities! Pant hoots and warmest thanks to: Kris, Anja, Jane, Zuzi & Briana!

We also want to give a massive thank you to the citizen scientists who contributed to this year's "Meet our volunteers" stories. It really touched us deeply that you shared your stories with us and that you feel as passionate about conservation as we do! Let us know if you ever want to volunteer in the field ;)  Pant hoots and warmest thanks to: Boleyn, Snorticus, Batfan,Vestigial, LauraKLynn, Paleosue, Squish5 and Zoogirl1 

To celebrate, I sign off with my favourite video that still makes me smile, an early one but a good one - #duikerfail

Mimi & the Science Team

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Story from @zoogirl1!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @zoogirl1:

On Chimp and See, you know me as zoogirl1.  My real name is Caryn Bunshaft.

I'd like to say... Hi, my name is Caryn.

I picked zoogirl1 for a screen name because I would prefer to be with an animal over a human most of the time.

I would travel to every place on earth to see the animals living in the wild and I am doing a good job at that. When I don't travel, I volunteer at the Bronx Zoo with the aquatic birds (yes, I play with penguins on a regular basis) because they won't take a volunteer in the mammal department. I volunteer at a wildlife rehab center which is mostly for birds of prey. (I know, more birds). But I get to handle falcons, hawks and owls. Not bad.

They have many of the animals we see here in the Congo area of the zoo. I have gone specifically to see the duikers since we have seen so many of them. The duikers are soooooo small, they can't always find them in the exhibit.

Somehow through my husbands connections, I was introduced to this wonderful program. I have been glued to this thing for two years now. It is one of the few ways I can see wild things in their habitat and help them at the same time. I learn so much from the discussions.

The first time I was offered to name a chimp I was thrilled. Since then, I have named a few more chimps, a badger and a leopard. How cool is that?

Every now an then, the other projects on zooniverse call my name for a quick blast to help finish something and I willingly participate but always come right back here.

Thanks, Caryn, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project!  This wraps up the Volunteer Story series in honor of our 2nd anniversary.  Stay tuned tomorrow for a message from Mimi!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Story from @squish5!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @squish5:

On Chimp and See, you know me as squish5.  My real name is Mick Ruby.

I'd like to say...

  • I volunteer at Chimp and See because ... It's a great opportunity to assist even a little with this project. Really enjoying it and as I learn more it becomes more interesting. I spend a lot of time laid up due to a back injury so this is perfect for keeping me busy :)
  • Something I never expected to learn from Chimp and See is... The difference in personalities of the chimps, like Marlyn's playfulness or Carouso's eating habits. You do get to know them after a while, even if very slowly.
  • The best thing about being a part of Chimp and See is... Being able to communicate with the scientists directly, who are very helpful by the way. And also how knowledgeable the volunteers are.
  • My favorite Chimp and See memory so far is... I was only a member for a short time when I came across a clip of a leopard jumping. The sheer power and grace was awesome, so of course I thought i would see a clip like that every week......... Not so much :(
Thanks for the opportunity and all the help/patience. Looking forward to plenty more sites in the future so HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

Thanks, Mick, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project! See you tomorrow for the last installment of our special Volunteer Story series!  (Mick left out some details about a dangerous car chase and thrilling explosions.  Maybe next time?)

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Story from @ksigler!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @ksigler:

On Chimp and See, you know me as ksigler.  My real name is Kris.

I'd like to say... I live in Maryland, USA, about an hour northwest of Washington, DC.  Professionally, I've spent a lot of my life being a techie down in the city, but at home, I'm a wildlife-loving country girl.  I found Zooniverse and Chimp & See a couple of years ago when I felt compelled to start making a difference with my life.  Citizen science offered plenty of opportunities to dabble in my science and history interests, and of all my projects, Chimp & See captured my heart and mind the most.  Partially because of all the fascinating and adorable animals, like Sugar, one of my first namees.  However, it has also truly been one of the most rewarding activities of my entire life, and here's why...

First, it has my favorite nerdy things, like scientific research, detective work, intellectual discussions, and data analysis.  Second, it's also like a live-action hidden object game, interwoven with dialogue-free mini soap operas ripe for "caption this" fun.  Third, it has a wonderful, diverse community.  As an introvert, I was reluctant to get involved in Talk at first.  But everyone here is so nice and supportive of one another, and we accomplish so much as a team, it's hard to believe this is on the internet!

Finally (gonna get deep here for a minute), this project has helped me appreciate more of what's going on around me and around the world.  Baba Dioum's famous statement has always resonated with and motivated me: "In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught."  Chimp & See literally covers all of those in one place, for chimpanzees, other wildlife, and even us humans.  Each "Oh, really? I didn't know that!" moment of growth is like magic.  I feel fortunate and proud to be a part of a project spreading so much magic around the world.  Happy Anniversary, Chimp & See!

Thanks (me, I guess? :-P) and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project!  See you tomorrow for another story!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Story from @paleosue!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @paleosue:

On Chimp and See, you know me as paleosue.  My real name is Sue Ruth.

I'd like to say... My name is Sue and I am an archaeologist and community college teacher living in New Mexico. I got hooked on Chimp & See shortly after it started up about 2 years ago. Since then I have told anyone who will listen and even those who won't about the project.

Each semester I take my anthropology students on a virtual field trip to Africa and I show them how to record the animals, especially the primates, hoping to spark that same feeling of wonder and amazement I feel when I find something interesting. So moderators, if there is ever a flood of weird identifications that lasts about an hour, that's probably us.

My favorite moment was getting to name a one-tusked warthog, ACP0006lto. I will be forever grateful to Snorticus, who suggested that I get to name him since I happened to tag him first. The warthog is now "Leroy" after my late father-in-law, who I think would be glad that there is warthog somewhere in West Africa named in his honor.

It's funny, but I now find myself perfectly at home in the forests of Africa.

Thanks, Sue, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project! See you tomorrow for another story!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Story from @lauraklynn!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @lauraklynn:

On Chimp and See, you know me as LauraKLynn.  My real name is Laura.

I'd like to say... I had dabbled in Zooniverse before, but I was very excited when Chimp & See appeared. For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by great apes. I appreciate their intelligence and similarity to humans, while recognizing and respecting their uniqueness as separate species. In high school, I told my guidance counselor I wanted to be a primate cognitive ethologist and study great apes. While that career never quite came to fruition, I still idolize the trimates (Goodall, Fossey and Galdikas) and daydream about being a field researcher. Chimp & See lets me live out a little bit of that fantasy and contribute to scientific research.

Thanks, Laura, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project! See you tomorrow for another story!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Story from @vestigial!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @vestigial:

On Chimp and See, you know me as vestigial.  My real name is Chris.

I'd like to say... I volunteer at the National Zoo with the primate program and I'm familiar with the problems facing wildlife there due to habitat loss. Because of that, I'm used to thinking of Asian elephants as wandering around through dense forested areas. I was not, however, used to seeing African elephants in forests. I guess because in the documentaries and things I've seen African elephants are always in herds near waterholes or on big dusty plains. Chimp and See was the first place I'd every seen videos of huge African elephants moving through dense forests while trying to negotiate steep slopes. While not as graceful on those slopes as they seem on the plains, it was impressive how well they blended in. They would just suddenly appear from the trees. It's hard to imagine such a large animal being hidden from view so easily and made me understand better when the locals talk about being careful when moving through the forest because you could suddenly come across a very large animal.

Thanks, Chris, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project! See you tomorrow for another story!

A Story from @Batfan!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @Batfan:

On Chimp and See, you know me as Batfan.  My real name is Jane.

I'd like to say... A huge Happy Birthday C&S. Long may this brilliant project continue.

After a couple of summers spent teaching at a remote school in Tanzania, with a roost of bats living down the ‘long drop’ (which made for some very interesting trips to the loo!!!), I fell totally in love with both Africa and bats.

At the end of last year I had to go into hospital, which led to an enforced period of inactivity and, to keep me sane during this time, I investigated the Zooniverse site to find something to occupy me. After having dabbled with various projects, from planets to penguins, I came across C&S and, within minutes, was totally hooked. My love of wildlife coupled with my love of Africa, make this the perfect project for me. Although I’m now back, living my normal life again, it’s become a priority to carve out at least a few minutes each day to spend trawling the C&S videos to see what new gems are there to be discovered.

When I came to the site, I always knew I’d love such as the chimps, monkeys, elephants, hippos and leopards but I hadn’t realized how many other species I’d develop such affection for. Those red river hogs always make me smile as they rootle around and those leaping galagos make me laugh out loud. Even the pretty little (and I’ve only recently found out just how little) duikers frequently melt my heart.

And it’s not just the animals that make C&S such a great site to be involved with. All you mods , scientists and ‘old hand’ citizen scientists have been so welcoming and helpful to newer people such as me and because of this, I’ve never felt embarrassed to ask questions or make mistakes, and so feel to have learned loads. Thank you to you all.

So once again, Happy Birthday C&S,. May there be many more years to come.

Thanks, Jane, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project! See you tomorrow for another story!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Story from @Snorticus!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog. Today's volunteer story is from @Snorticus:

On Chimp and See, you know me as Snorticus.  My real name is Dawna.

I'd like to say... You never know what you will see in the animal clips. Some days it's a shared adventure with other volunteers, moderators & the scientists too. The Saturday we started the lengthy light hearted discussion & research as to the fact or fiction of a three-nippled guinea baboon (who was later named Maxine) was rather fun. Several of us were online classifying around the world that day (Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Germany, America) and everyone joined in the discussion. Some held that it was a just a clinging leaf & some presented good support for the 3 nipple theory.

Here is a link to that amusing & educational thread:

Thanks, Dawna, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project! See you tomorrow for another story!

(If you would like to submit your own, there's still time! Just submit this form by Wednesday, 4/26.)

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Story from @Boleyn!

To help celebrate Chimp and See's 2nd anniversary, we asked our volunteers to share their personal stories, memories, and anniversary wishes for the blog.  Today's volunteer story is from @Boleyn:

On Chimp and See, you know me as Boleyn.  My real name is Heidi Pfund.

I'd like to say... It all started with a podcast

After a phantastic safari through Botswana I was missing the wildlife dearly. Henry, my partner, had pity on me and told me of a podcast where they introduced "Snapshot Serengeti", another Zooniverse project. I literally jumped on it and was hardly to seperate from my screen in my spare time. But alas! After about 5 weeks of frantic classification, they run out of pictures. I was on cold turkey! No more animals, no more fun.

Salvation came with a mail from Zooniverse, asking the volunteers to check out Chimpandsee. And there were even videos not only pictures! So many lovely animals to study in their living environment, including the occasional chimp. I was in heaven!

That's almost two years since. Over the time I got more and more involved with these adorable, interesting apes and I wouldn't want to miss them anymore. The matching, comparing and discussing serves my liking for detective work. And now we are even able to match leopards. How great is this?

Today I just classified my 18'000 video at C&S. How did @squish5 say: That's a lot of duikers. But hell, I love every little flapper - they take me easily back to Africa every single day I like!

Images from

Thanks, Heidi, and all our volunteers for making C&S such a special project!  See you tomorrow for another story!

(If you would like to submit your own, there's still time!  Just submit this form by Wednesday, 4/26.)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

***Updated!*** Meet our chimps: The One Where Lesley’s Infant Gets a Name

The “Meet our chimps” mini-series closes with adult female Lesley and her infant daughter – whom we also want to name with you!

Adult female Lesley is none of our most memorable and special chimps. She has a friendly face with a slightly reddish pigmentation, cute pointy ears, some balding, and a strong body. Although that’s not something very special for females with dependent offsprings, she seems to be a bit less gregarious (i.e., social) than other members of her group. She is more often seen alone with her infant or in smaller groups with just another adult, not in the big traveling or feeding parties.

Her already big infant daughter makes the most of this situation, plays and investigates on her own whenever she gets the chance – and provided that mom is still close. This little girl is one of the few infants overall at Chimp&See that has been matched on her own due to a defining trait: the small scar or dent at her right eyebrow. Usually, we can only match the infants because we can identify their mothers. She is special in that regard and that’s why we wanted to present her here and use the opportunity to let use choose a name for this little girl!

To go with her mother’s name and our brief thoughts about sociality in this posting, we decided to go with another pop-culture theme, the great 90ies TV show “Friends”. So, growing up, do you think she will be perfectionist and bossy like Monica, eccentric like Phoebe, or always emotionally outpouring like Rachel? Please vote here

***Update (April 26, 2017) ***
Welcome Phoebe! Thank you so much for helping us again to settle for a name for another sweet little infant. Lesley’s daughter will now get her final “ID” with this wonderful name. A clear majority for Phoebe emerged already in early votings and could sustain its ranking against a rising share for Rachel in the very last hours of this poll. Just like her namesake from Friends, we hope she will be a great and tolerant friend, a bit eccentric, and get the “forest smartness” to survive in her changing environment.

If you wonder, why we name our chimps, instead of just keeping coded IDs (like Phoebe’s temporary ID: RSInf03), please read this wonderful blogpost by our mod Kristeena Sigler. And if you want to get the chance to name a chimp yourself, visit our discussion boards at Chimp&See and give chimp matching a go.