Saturday, October 19, 2013

Penguin James Bonds? Egg-laying cameras spy on real birds

They're the James Bonds of the penguin world. Sorry, Pengy, but that black-and-white pal you were cozying up to isn't a real penguin after all, it's an animatronic camera disguised as a life-size penguin.

IMAGE: Penguins
John Downer / Discovery Channel
Some penguins hanging out with real flocks are in fact Discovery Channel cameras that can even swim and lay eggs. 
Discovery Channel is pulling a scam worthy of Agent 007 by installing the penguin-ified cameras among three different penguin groups. The cameras have been installed amongst Emperor penguins in Antarctica, Rockhopper penguins on the Falkland Islands, and Humboldt penguins in the Atacama Desert of Peru. (Didn't know penguins lived in the desert? Neither did we.)

For the upcoming two-hour documentary "Penguins: Waddle All the Way," more than 50 remote-control spies are living with real penguins. Some are disguised as adults, some as chicks, and some are even camouflaged as eggs.

The robot cameras can "swim, toboggan, waddle, jump and even lay fake eggs," Discovery Channel said. "In fact, they appear so lifelike that some of the penguins try to befriend them. Wherever the penguins go, Penguincam follows."

Producer John Downer, who's also spied on elephants, tigers and polar bears for other specials, developed the Penguincams.

"Penguins: Waddle All the Way" airs Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. on Discovery.


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