Although National Geographic claim that the Crittercam was conceived in 1986 by marine biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall, the history of animals carrying cameras goes back much further. It may well be that Marshall’s invention was the first time that a camera was used to allow scientists to study animal behaviour without interference by a human observer, but animals have been used to carry cameras for less worthy purposes for at least 100 years. Forcing animals to partake in wars conceived by humans is of course morally dubious, but it has been happening for a very long time.

Aerial photography from balloons goes back to 1858 with the oldest surviving examples dating to 1860. As well as balloons, cameras were also placed on kites and even rockets, but it took quite a while longer for someone to realise the potential benefits of marrying the pigeon post, which had

This article appeared in 187 on March 2014. Buy here

To continue reading this article, please subscribe to print or online here, or login to receive premium content...

Login