Despite their cute and cuddly appearance, penguins are incredibly tough animals. They really have to be in order to survive the harsh conditions of the Antarctic. And thanks to the new BBC series, Penguins Spy in the Huddle, we can now see how dauntless they truly are from the very moment they’re born.
Penguins Spy in the Huddle, narrated by David Tennant, follows a robospy penguin created by John Downer Productions. Thanks to this robotic penguin camera, they were able to capture first-hand footage of the most intimate moments in an emperor penguin colony – including the moment a tiny emperor penguin started hatching from its egg.
Unlike most species, emperor penguins are actually hatched by their fathers instead of their mothers. While the fathers stay in the huddle and keep the eggs warm, the mothers go in search of food. During this time, fathers must withstand blizzarding conditions and arctic challenges for two months. They stay huddled closely with other father penguins in the colony to protect their eggs and wait for the moment their babies will hatch.
As seen in the footage below, once one baby hatches, the rest quickly follow suit. This is because when the first baby is hatched, it starts chirping a sound that encourages other babies nearby to hatch. Thus, a domino effect begins and soon thousands of babies within the colony emerge from their shells.
After the babies are hatched, fathers must care for them until the mothers arrive with food. The survival of each baby depends on its mother’s quick return.
Emperor penguins are truly incredible, to say the least. Watch the footage below captured by the robospy penguin:
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