Trying to record and gather data on very shy animals like emperor penguins is a big challenge for scientists. Getting close to them, even with remote-controlled rover cameras, often scares them or makes them act differently.
So, how do you solve this? If you’re Yvon Le Maho and his team from the University of Strasbourg in France, you dress the rover up as a fuzzy penguin chick before sending it on its way.
The best part about this neat experiment is that it worked like gangbusters. Before, when the naked rover approached the colony, Le Maho tells the CBC that the adults’ heart rates elevated and they backed away. Since heart rates were one of the parameters the team was monitoring, that was no good.
But slap a baby penguin disguise on it, and the results are quite different:
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