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Tiny Tarsier Caught on Film

The BBC website has a 2 minute 45 second clip of one of the smallest primates in the world in its Earth News section. The Spectral Tarsier is notoriously difficult to catch on film, as not only is it only 13cm tall, it is also nocturnal. Its eyes do not reflect light like other nocturnal animals, so they are very difficult to see in the dark. However, David Attenborough’s team managed it whilst filming for their Life series, and throughout the short clip, you are able to see many of the wonderfully perfect adaptations natural selection has provided these creatures with; their paper-thin, bat-like  mobile ears for catching noise of a potential prey, their huge eyes for catching every ray of moonlight, their ability to pounce on quick-moving prey from 5 metres away, and their sucker-pad fingers to aid precision landings. Not only is this clip a credit to the Life team, it is also a delightful demonstration of the elegance and fantastic attention to detail in the natural world, which has created the marvellous adaptation and diversity we see before us today.

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GAFI Films for Conservation Education

Whilst browsing Primate awareness charities the other day, pondering inventive fundraising ideas, I came across the GAFI Initiative. It caught my eye due to the fact it was promoting conservation through the medium of film, which I found beautifully simple in itself. However after reading further, I found they actually run film courses for people of any ability or experience to learn the basics that would enable them to make their own nature or conservation film. I love the potential ripple effect this could have – teaching budding conservationists/filmakers the skills they need to produce what their creative minds crave, all for a common cause. Not only this,but GAFI work in collaboration with GRASP and Filmakers for Conservation to screen their films to the communities that live in and around areas of conservation or endangered species. Providing education to these people is paramount in the ongoing progress of conservation projects, and GAFI is doing an excellent job of using simple modern media to do this.