Ecological Biomass

March 24, 2011

TGH came across an epic Herring-centric video clip within the BBC program, Nature’s Great Events. A particular episode, entitled ‘Nature’s Great Feast’, touched on the concept of how some living organisms (like Herring) have learned to group together to defend their species against the many predators they face.

Now, herring may be of a diminutive size, but along with swimming in massive schools, they also have a number of other Darwinian tricks up their proverbial sleeves (gills?) that help them avoid becoming supper in the wild.  One of these naturally selected traits is an obvious reason for  their nickname, “silver of the sea” or “silver darlings”.  Herring have an incredibly effective camouflage that uses embedded crystals within their bodies to create a glistening effect, mesmerizing would-be prey and keeping them concealed in the glistening currents.

Herring may have a pseudo cloaking effect and seek to find power in numbers, but those strategems only go so far.  Nature always has her trump card, and it’s often at the top of the food chain as you’ll see at the :40 mark of this footage.

Check mate.