If you think primate behavior was only instilled in humans before, you might want to check out these recorded gorillas joyfully singing happily while eating dinner together. While many documentary filmmakers could only dream of capturing these types of scenes in the wild, a group of filmmakers made a realistic robotic "spy" gorilla and witnessed the hilarious scene.
For filmmakers to film the movie of the returning PBS series, "Nature: Spy in the Wild 2," John Dower Production was able to take a glimpse of the daily lives of gorillas. The producers came up with an idea to film a group of real-life gorillas by creating a robot gorilla that can blend in with them and spy on how they live every day.
The producer of the film, Matt Gordon, and his team thought that they need to be very detailed in making their robots for the gorillas to not notice that it is different from them.
According to Gordon, eye contact and communication is the key factor that gorillas are very certain of. Gordon also shared that there will be footage at the beginning of the episode where the real gorillas looked at the robot gorilla straight into the eye. Whether they were curious or they just notice the eyes first, the producers and the whole team planned to make the robot gorilla's eyes captivating and believable.
How the gorillas were made
The team also made sure that the robot gorilla had every realistic amount of detail that real gorillas have. They focused more on the facial feature because it is the most vital physical feature that the real gorillas will get to see the first thing they see it.
Also, the crew was careful enough to make the gorilla's overall appearance to avoid challenging the dominant male in the real gorilla group. Gordon explained that they wanted the robot gorilla to succeed, and with that, the robot should not look like a threat to the dominant male. So, they averted the robot's gaze in a different way.
To make it more submissive than the dominant male gorilla in the group, the crew decided to convince the dominant male gorilla to accept the robot in their tribe. They were successful in convincing the leader, and it even signaled its troop that it is safe for them to welcome the new "stranger" in their group.
Before the crew decided to release the robot in the wild, which is in Ugandan sanctuary, they also wanted to make sure that the robot smelled the same as them. According to Gordon, the crew even added some feces into the robots to allow the real gorillas to accept them in the group.
In 2016, scientists discovered and learned that gorillas also sing to themselves when they are out and bonding with other gorilla groups. However, the data showed only audio evidence, not video, and with Gordon and his team's innovation, they managed to capture video footage of them actually singing to each other.
The same study also showed that gorillas sing whenever they eat dinner more often than the younger gorillas. Male gorillas sing more often also compared to female gorillas. The study also revealed that gorillas sing more often while eating plants and seeds rather than eating insects.