A two year study of tropical mammals around the world has offered an awe-inspiring glimpse into animal life.

From 2008-2010, researchers in collaboration with Conservation International and TEAM Network gathered almost 52,000 pictures from 420 hidden automatic cameras placed in protected areas across South America, Africa and Asia.

The results of the survey's findings form the basis of a recently published diversity study and offer up a tantalising "behind-the-scenes" snapshot of wildlife unlike the kind usually found in wildlife magazines.

"These kind of captured them doing what they're doing, being themselves," study lead author Jorge Ahumada, technical director of the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network, told the Associated Press.

The cameras were camouflaged, didn't have a flash and were only activated when something warm was nearby. Below we've picked a few of our favourites from the camera trap mammal study's gallery.

Southern pig-tailed macaque. Credit: Conservation International/TEAM Network Partnership
South America tapir. Credit: Conservation International/TEAM Network Partnership
Mountain gorilla. Credit: Conservation International/TEAM Network Partnership
Jaguar. Credit: Conservation International Suriname/TEAM Network Partnership
African elephant. Credit: Museo delle Scienze/TEAM Network Partnership
Giant anteater. Credit: Conservation International/Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network/Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia