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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 169:277-282 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/meps169277

The CaveCam--an endoscopic underwater videosystem for the exploration of cryptic habitats

Mark Wunsch*, Claudio Richter

Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie, Fahrenheitstr. 1, D-28359 Bremen, Germany

ABSTRACT: We designed a self-contained, diver-operated endoscopic underwater video system, the CaveCam. It consists of a high resolution finger camera connected by a 3.8 m cable to a viewing and recording unit. Different housings accomodate lenses, from superwide-angle to telephoto. The smallest camera head measures only 25 mm in diameter and 109 mm in length and allows access to narrow crevices. Accessories are available for perpendicular viewing, underwater focussing, near- and far-field scaling and lighting. We successfully employed the CaveCam for mapping cryptofauna communities, measuring small-scale currents and observing animal behaviour.

KEY WORDS: Cryptofauna · Underwater video · Caves · Crevices · Coral reef · Coelobites · Image analysis · Endoscope

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