A spy camera disguised as a mudskipper attempted to seduce a female mudskipper in a courtship battle.
The amusing clip was shared from the BBC/PBS series Spy in the Ocean and sees an animatronic mudskipper fitted with a camera attempting to woo a mate by waving its electronic fin and jumping into the air.
However, the mudskipper spy camera faced stiff competition from two real male mudskippers who were able to jump far higher than the robot.
In the footage, a female mudskipper is “on the lookout for an eligible partner.” The female approaches the robot mudskipper and waves her fin at the machine.
Amazingly, the robot waves back with the electronic fin, and when two actual male mudskippers appear they begin to jump into the air to impress the potential mate.
The mudskippers can clear the ground whereas the robot can only propel its belly out of the mud.
The female is not impressed with the android mudskipper and makes a beeline toward the two real mudskippers who have to fight it out to prove who is the best mate.
Laughing Squid notes that the contraption was designed by John Downer Productions.
‘Functional and Beautiful’ Spy Cameras
Spy in The Ocean is the aquatic follow-up series to Spy in The Wild which aired five years ago and used similar technology to film animals. PetaPixel previously reported on a spy octopus camera getting a hug from a real octopus.
According to Televisual, Spy in The Wild producer Rob Pilley says it is an “industrial process” to build the animatronic animals that film the show, encompassing robotics, programming, and aesthetics.
“You have to make them functional, practical, and beautiful,” Pilley explains.
Inside the spy creatures are remote-controlled miniature cameras, shooting in 4K, and often hidden in the eye sockets of the animatronics.
Spy in The Wild producer Matthew Gordon says the cameras come from a wide range of manufacturers but have been stripped down and modified to fit inside the spy creatures.
The producers say that deploying such expensive camera equipment in the wild can be an extremely stressful process, with producers fearful that it will be destroyed in an instant by suspicious animals.
The robotic animals are not the only devices filming each scene. Up to 10 cameras at a time — from boulder-cams to dung-cams — were also placed in situ during the filming of Spy in The Wild to record footage. There is also a long-lens camera recording footage.
“We can cut between them to get lots of different angles, which you can’t do in natural history very often,” executive producer John Downer tells Televisual.