Those clever ecologists at the U.S. Geological Survey have found a way to obtain information about wolves that doesn’t involve trapping them, collaring them, or shooting them with weird injections — and bonus, it makes them look like X-MAN SUPERWOLVES. Instead of messing with the animals directly, researchers are just snapping pics with infrared cameras, leading to wicked shots like the one above.
As Wired reports, the sad side of this story is why they need the cameras: The wolves in Yellowstone National Park have caught a form of scabies that causes hair loss.
Patchy coats mean wolves have to burn more calories to keep warm, and if they can’t find those calories, they’re screwed. The infrared pictures show scientists where the wolves are radiating the most heat — where their coats are patchiest — and help them track which ones are in the most danger. Wallet-sized snaps of the unstoppably rad infrared photos also help balding wolves maintain self-esteem.
Infrared Imaging Helps Save Yellowstone's Wolves, Wired.