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Infiltrating nature with crocodile robots and condor puppets

Furry and undercover

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Studying animals isn't easy. Some can be shy and aggressive around humans, whereas others can become habituated to human presence, which can be dangerous for people and animals alike. And then there's the fact that animals don't always "act natural" around us. So researchers have developed a number of ways to go about their work without disrupting the natural world. One example is the "penguin rover," a robot that made headlines this week when researchers released a study, and a video of the rover approaching adult emperor penguins and their offspring.

As adorable as the rover is, it's just the latest attempt by researchers to go undercover and infiltrate nature.

Condor puppet


Condor puppet
A condor "mother" puppet was used to rear chicks at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. [Credit: Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Safari Park]