Watching animals across the world hang out and do their thing, all from the comfort of our own home, is one of modern life’s simple joys. We’ve often turned to a zoo or aquarium’s live webcam when we want to escape the chaos of our own lives. Now the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Argentina Program has provided another way to enjoy adorable animals. The organization outfitted a penguin with a video camera. And the resulting penguin-captured selfie footage is a pure dinnertime delight.
The WCS put a special camera donated by the Tawaki Project onto a male Gentoo penguin. The little fella then captured footage (which we first saw at DesignTAXI) in Argentina’s Beagle Channel. The area has been a penguin conservation site for 20 years. The video follows the penguin as he quickly dives and moves through schools of sardines. After a few passes, he nabs a single fish which he gobbles up. The camera also recorded images of other penguins in the background. As well as diving cormorants and albatross.
While this penguin selfie footage is fun for us, it also serves a far more important purpose. According to a press release from the WCS, the camera is part of a “collaborative study on feeding ecology” from WCS Argentina, the Antarctic Research Trust, and the Tawaki Project. The study “is comparing the feeding ecology of Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) of Argentina and the yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) of New Zealand.” This video reveals that while Gentoo penguins typically look for food near the seabed, they won’t pass up a school of baitfish if they come across an easy meal.
The team behind the project removed the camera as soon as the penguin returned. But this wasn’t the only trip researchers have captured. Previously the Tawaki Project Last October a female penguin took them on a selfie tour of her morning routine on Seymour Island in New Zealand.
Sometimes we just want to watch animals chill from a distance. But clearly we also need more selfie videos of them living their best lives. Well, so long as we’re not interrupting their dinner.