It's not only humans that like a good joke, animals play all kinds of tricks on one another in their attempts to gain an advantage. Based around the April Fool tradition, this collection of videos features the weirder side of nature where it's not always easy to tell what's real and what's not. Watch animals play practical jokes on each other and on us, and look back at some real gems from the archives where we've tried to fool you in a wildlife world that's often stranger than fiction.
There's nothing like a bit of hypnotic dancing to help catch prey 10 times your own size.
Is a stoat's frenzied dance really a clever attempt to help it bring down its much larger prey? Or has this one just been at the catnip? Sure enough, it seems that rabbits are rendered almost catatonic by the stoat's antics. Keeping the frantic dance up allows the stoat to to get closer and closer until it's within reach and can pounce on the enchanted rabbit.
Surinam toads perform a bizarre skincare routine for their babies!
Imagine if babies were born through the skin on your back - a truly weird suggestion, but this is no April Fool. The surinam toad's method of ensuring maximum survival success for its offspring is exactly that. It's a seemingly bizarre strategy, but the resulting odds are much higher than the normal way of laying eggs.
Can a flounder, master camouflage artist, match itself to unfamiliar ground?
Flounders are well known for their camouflage skills, and on a familiar background they really do seem to vanish suddenly. But the challenge here was to see how good these masters were with less familiar backgrounds. Placing a checker board in their way demonstrates just how good these creatures really are at fooling potential predators.
Danger lurks in many guises, but even the cleverest animals can be fooled by a fake snake!
There's plenty of fakery in the animal world, where one animal pretends to be another to help catch prey or escape a predator. But it's surprising how easily even the wisest and most vigilant of creatures is fooled by human invention. In this clip, a garden hose-pipe strikes fear into a horned frog and an owl, who then use their own fooling and confusion tactics to frighten the supposed snake off.
Undersized male cuttlefish have a sly way to get to the girls.
It seems humans aren't the only ones to use dirty tricks when it comes to getting a mate. It goes without saying that there is more to a cross-dresser than meets the eye, but some male cuttlefish have developed it to a fine art. Too small to fight for a mate, this male changes his appearance to trick a courting pair of cuttlefish into believing he's just another female looking to mate. The strategy works: the other male is fooled and the cross-dresser nips in quick while he's distracted!
The Australian giant cuttlefish is the largest of the world’s hundred or so species of...
Darwin's frogs have a highly unusual method of brooding and rearing their young.
Rabbits came originally from south west Europe and north west Africa.
Stoats are completely white in winter, except for the black tips of their tails.
Superb lyrebirds are famed for their extraordinary ability to mimic.
Surinam toads have a unique spawning ritual and reproduction method.
Candirus are parasites that feed on the blood and flesh of their victims.