Emperor penguins are perhaps the most widely-loved species of penguins and this cute clip will only make you love them more. Filmed on a wildlife camera set up to document the behavior of these majestic birds, the video depicts two inquisitive penguins investigating the strange device.
While the camera might’ve been set up for research purposes by the Australian Antarctic Program (opens in new tab) there’s no denying this heartwarming footage is an added bonus. In the video, you can see an Emperor Penguin approaching the camera before swiftly knocking it over so that it’s pointing towards the sky. Both penguins then lean down towards the camera giving you a super up-close, birds-eye view of their faces. Almost as if they’re discussing what they have uncovered, the penguins begin to loudly quiver before standing upright and shaking their heads in unison.
• Read more: Best camera for wildlife photography (opens in new tab)
Wildlife cameras are incredibly important as they help us understand animal behavior. The better we understand how these animals act and communicate with each other, the more we can do to protect those that are endangered. This particular footage was captured by Eddie Gault - an Australian Antarctic expeditioner who left the camera on the ice at the Auster Rooker, close to the Mawson research station. It didn’t take the intelligent animals long to investigate the foreign object that had been left behind.
Of course, this isn’t the first time ‘spy’ style cameras have been used to study animal behavior. The BBC regularly uses this style of camera to capture scenes for series such as Frozen Planet. The cameras are supposedly indestructible but one particular polar bear didn’t put all that much effort into destroying one known as "snow cam". Still, it managed to capture some cute, up-close-and-personal polar bear content first.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation (opens in new tab), Emperor penguin populations have declined by almost half in recent years, so anything we can do to ensure they don’t drop any further is really important.