Rover camera disguised as a penguin chick (c) Le Maho et al
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Meet the fake penguins aiding research

A remote-controlled vehicle disguised as a chick has allowed researchers to gather data from notoriously shy emperor penguins.

As well as getting closer to the birds, the diminutive rover also had much less impact on penguin behaviour than being approached by a human.

Scientists say the unusual approach provides "a less invasive and stressful way to collect data on these species".

The findings are published in the journal Nature Methods.

Here, lead researcher Dr Yvon Le Maho from the National Centre for Scientific Research in Strasbourg, France, who led the study, describes the emperor penguins' response to the fake chick.

Footage: Spy in the Huddle/John Downer Productions/BBC

Go to next video: Is it a bird... No, it's penguin-cam