11/24/2013 05:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Animal Automata

Robots might seem futuristic but working mechanical miracles have been around much longer than many people might think. Clockwork automatons have been being built for hundreds of years, but the subject of their design was often animal instead of human. Clicking gears and spinning flywheels have brought to life everything from impossibly detailed peacocks to roaring tigers. Feast your eyes on some of the world's most incredible automated beasts!

This fearsome creature is known as Tipu's Tiger, and he can lift his head and let out a clockwork "roar."

Image via Wikimedia Commons

The soldier beneath him also blows air out of his mouth to create a simulated scream.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Russia's Peacock Clock was created in 1777 and will raise and lower its metal plumage.

Image by Dennis Jarvis

Every single feather on the bird's behind is a separate piece of sculpted metal.

Image by Harvey Barrison

Even fake animals get hungry and England's Silver Swan is able to bend down and bite at retreating fish.
Image via Wikimedia Commons

Even the pond on which the bird sits is made of moving metal.

Image by Glen Bowman

To see video of these beautiful beasts in action and check out even more amazing mechanical critters, check out Atlas Obscura's round-up of animal automatons!