When you attach a camera onto the back of a giant South American river turtle, you get to witness how they live, where they go, how they interact with their young and others turtles. National Geographic shares this critter cam footage and explains why it’s important:

The giant South American river turtle is not as abundant as it once was in some areas, but conservation methods—including patrols of nesting beaches by armed guards—help Brazil maintain a healthy population. Here turtles interacting with one another underwater are observed, for what could be the first time.

Critter cams can be essential for understanding how animals live and how to better protect them in the wild, but how do you attach one? Suction cups? Harnesses? Belts? Biomedical glues? Watch how critter cam research Kyler Abernathy struggled for three years to attach a cam to the peduncle of an “egg-shaped and docile” creature: the slow-moving manatee:


Read more about the cam-on-manatee-conundrum at National Geographic.

Related videos: More turtles and more animal cams, including butterflies that drink turtle tears for the salt content (yes! it’s true), and outfitting Tree Kangaroos with tiny video cameras.

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