The Zoo of the Future
The BBC has just unveiled its “Wildlife Finder,” a Web site it bills as “the world’s biggest online zoo.” To create the “zoo,” which so far includes 370 different species of animals (with more to come), the BBC has compiled video footage from hundreds of wildlife documentaries, including the blockbuster hit Planet Earth.
Unlike a “real” zoo, with its bored animals gazing out blankly from concrete cells and cramped cages, BBC’s Wildlife Finder captures animals in their own habitats—from the rain forests of Chile to the volcanoes of Papua New Guinea. No more peering through cage bars trying in vain to catch a glimpse of a sleeping lemur or waiting for the hippos to come up for air. BBC’s Wildlife Finder includes footage shot with underwater and infrared cameras to capture nocturnal and deep-sea animals doing the things that they do naturally—things they never get to do in a zoo.
So far, the most popular animals are proving to be the meerkats (who doesn’t love meerkats?), Darwin’s frog (a Chilean frog whose males give birth through their mouths—all of which is caught on tape, of course), and the New Guinea jumping spider, who is shown jumping onto a cameraman.
Gather the kids around the PC and check out the online zoo today. They’ll learn a heck of a lot more than they would at the local wildlife penitentiary.
Written by Alisa Mullins