For biologists who aren't down with tracking
blazing fast cheetahs and computer engineers who aren't keen on their hardware just galloping away, strapping solar-powered communicators on none other than a 40-pound turtle
was a no-brainer. Dubbed M16, the giant snapper commandeered by scientists from the University of Massachusetts is now sporting a "postcard-sized waterproof computer" that tracks and records data about the endangered species and beams it back to the campus when the creature moseys on by a base station. Much like a few military applications
, the idea here is to "create a network of constantly moving devices (or animals) that record and store information, transmit data from one device to another," and finally upload it into a database. No word on whether webcams
or high-powered lasers
will get added in to the second wave of shell-bound rigs.