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Digital Images

Asian Elephant

Thermal Vision Research


Free to use with attribution for non-commercial purposes. No modifications permitted. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)Credit: Thermal Vision Research
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The elephant has been visualised using thermal infrared which allows us to see thermal energy or radiation more commonly referred to as heat. Thermal Infrared is found within the Infrared region on the electromagnetic spectrum. The different colours in the images represent different levels of thermal energy being emitted from an object. The imaging technology has been successfully used in animal studies to observe thermoregulation, their environment and behaviour, their population and habitat. Particularly in elephants the technology has been used by conservationists to study thermoregulation. Researchers have been able to distinguish that whereas African elephants thermoregulate by losing heat from their larger ears, asian elephants lose heat via their trunk. This image seems to illustrates this theory as the trunk appears to emit the highest levels of thermal energy (at the yellow/white end of the colour spectrum) compared with the rest of the body.


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