The Smithsonian has put up some 200,000 photographs of animals taken by dozens of motion-activated "camera traps" set up in around the world, and... they're kind of breathtaking. Not just in a "Ooh, animals are cool" way, either (though, come on, animals are totally cool)—in a "Wow, some of these are pretty amazing photographs" way. The intent, obviously, is to study animal behavior without needing smelly humans around, and not to take pretty pictures, but the pictures do end up being quite pretty—we're particularly partial, for example, to this set of beautiful black-and-whites shot in Kenya. (Above is an Asian black bear caught on camera in China). The best thing to do is go to the official site, find one of the cameras, and just click through all the photos it's taken. Animals! Right?

[Smithsonian WILD via New Scientist]

African buffalo, photographed in Kenya


African bush elephant, photographed in Kenya

Asian elephant, photographed in Thailand


Baird's tapir, photographed in Peru

Burchell's zebra, photographed in Kenya

Collared peccary, photographed in Peru

Collared peccary, photographed in Peru

Coyote, photographed in the U.S.

Crested serpent eagle, photographed in Thailand

Giraffe, photographed in Kenya

Jaguar, photographed in Peru

Temminck's tragopan, photographed in China

White-lipped peccary