Wednesdays, May 3 & 10, 2017 at 8 PM ET on PBS
(Check your local listings)
They're back! Those remote-controlled robotic cameras return to infiltrate the world of dolphins around the globe and capture behavior that has never been filmed before. This time, the Spy Creatures go underwater. Thirteen animatronic spy cameras were designed to do the job including Spy Dolphin, Spy Turtle, Spy Squid, Spy Nautilus, Spy Baby Dolphin, Spy Tuna, Spy Ray, and Spy Puffer. Their eyes are state-of-the-art cameras. (In the case of Spy Tuna, the camera is its mouth.)
In addition to this surveillance team, a real bottlenose dolphin is used in Caribbean waters as a "double agent." This tame dolphin, carrying tiny cameras on its back and sides, has free rein to explore the ocean and return when he's ready with a recording of his adventures.
“Dolphins: Spy in the Pod” takes an in-depth look into the secret lives of a variety of dolphins as the specially designed "spycams" often interact and engage the curiosity of their subjects and film examples of their intelligence, communication, and relationships. The two-part program airs Wednesdays, May 3 & 10, 2017 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings) and streams at pbs.org/nature.
Spy Dolphin documents the inventive fishing techniques of the bottlenose in the shallow waters of the Florida Keys. Working together, one member gets ahead of a mullet shoal and beats its tail to stir up plumes of mud from which the mullet try to escape but end up leaping into the mouths of waiting dolphins. Meanwhile, Spy Tuna follows spinner dolphins to show how they perform their unusual corkscrew leaps, stream bubbles from their blowholes as they whistle out their names, and combine with other superpods to form an incredible megapod made up of over 3,000 dolphins.
However, Dall's porpoises, the fastest dolphins in the ocean, rarely succumb to the orca as they reach speeds of over 35 miles per hour. Other topics explored by the "spycams" in the second hour include the dolphins' initiation rites, strange rituals, unusual sleeping methods, and the use of a bouquet of seaweed as a proven courting technique. The series concludes with Spy Squid's ultimate sacrifice while valiantly filming its archenemy, the potato cod.