An animal with a familiar face

Admittedly, electronic tagging has been used for a long time to track an animal, analyze its movements and, as a result, some of its behaviors. Aerial observation is also possible. However, note the Smithsonian Magazinethese methods are considered invasive and can be very expensive.

However, recently, facial recognition software has indeed made it easier to identify certain animals. For example, the BearID Project analyzes the faces of our people. Oxford scientists have also developed software to recognize chimpanzees in their habitat.

American biologists were therefore inspired by it… for seals. After trying the software for 2 years with 2000 photos, they claim that it can now recognize a seal with 85% accuracy.

In the first review of their software, SEALNET, the researchers claim to be able to better understand the habits of seals and their social dynamics. For example, they identified four seals basking at one location and then identified them at other sites.

However, the software struggles to distinguish a “face” from a rock or another part of the anatomy every time. But for individual countries that want to track the evolution of their local seal populations, it is a tool that could prove invaluable.

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