This is a huge spoiler, be sure that you want to read it. also, dear lazy8 team, if this is too much information or anything wrong with it, feel free to reduce/correct/delete.
[spoiler]I talked about that with the team earlier, which kindly gave me some info on that. they are not animated in the sense of the word, but they are different in each picture.
if you take a picture, the server knows
- the place where you are and the direction you look in
- the population of that area
- the time
- the usual behaviour of the motos on that time (sleeping, walking, hunting...)
- the size/form/model of the moto itself
- points which are changeable (orientation of limbs, open/closed mouth, tongue...)
and then generates an image out of that info.
you take a picture in a bristletongue nest area in the morning.
the server knows that usually 2-5 bristletongues are there
also, they usually are awake and hunting (70%) or sleeping (30%), as you made the photo at a time bristletongues just stand up to go hunting
so it might generate an image with three bristletongues, two awake, one sleeping, one of the awake ones standing upright, one hiding.
or it might make an image with 5 sleeping bristletongues. or 2 which are awake. or any other combination. this is (sort of) random.
so, as you see, there is no need to actually animate the motos all the time - but it seems like they are animated.
also, this means that if you and someone else make a photo of the same area from the same viewpoint one second after each other, they might end up with entirely different situations, as one might have two motos and one might have zero.