Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference in research! In rehabilitation, elephant seals get these nifty “hat tags” so that when there are a lot of seals in one pen, we can easily identify who is who with minimal disturbance (they like to sleep all piled together, and being sick, they like to sleep ALOT). These biodegradable hat tags are 3D-printed by an amazing volunteer were originally all white, which was easy to see in person, but nearly impossible to decipher on pen camera footage. Since my entire PhD rests on being able to identify individual seals on hours and hours of video footage throughout their rehabilitation, we made a small, creative change: COLORS! Now it is a lot easier to track the seals on the cameras, and it is like there is confetti sprinkled in the pools with the various colors moving around!
[Photo and caption by Karli Chudeau]
[Edited by Maggie Creamer]