A massive camera trap survey of tropical mammals around the world has returned a magical series of glimpses into animal life.

The survey was conducted by Conservation International and partners and partners in South America, Africa and Asia. They installed 420 camera traps in key protected areas, amassing some 52,000 photographs between 2008 and 2010.

For scientists, the survey's findings, published in the September Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, represent an automated methodological approach to conducting large-scale ecological surveys. For everyone else, they're a chance to see animals in a new and intimate way.

Unlike the sort of photographs seen in wildlife magazines, which are so technically perfect and highly produced as to seem posed, camera trap photos feel like behind-the-scenes snapshots. They're immediate and, in a sense, candid. They're the everyday reality of nature.

On the following pages are a selection of photographs from the set, with links to high-resolution versions.






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