A look at some of the planet’s great gatherings, creatures that come together in inconceivable numbers – sometimes in millions, billions, and even trillions. Included are bats and bees, locust and ants, monarch butterflies in Mexico, 17-year cicada hatches, grunion in the Sea of Cortez and carp in the Mississippi River, sardine runs off the coast of South Africa, super flocks of parakeets in the Australian Outback, mayflies on the 4th of July, and even penguins and wildebeest. Some gather to breed or to migrate, some for protection, some simply to keep warm in the cold. But in the process, a kind of super-organism is created in which individual intelligence is superseded by a collective consciousness that shares information and moves with a single purpose for the benefit of all. Check out swarm intelligence, essentially a living embodiment of social media in the natural world.
expiredpublic88402365247982cove8840The Gathering SwarmsHigh-speed cameras track the spectacle of animals traveling in inconceivable numbers.It is quite a spectacle when animals come together in inconceivable numbers: sometimes in the millions, billions, and even trillions. When swarms gather, a kind of super-organism is created in which individual intelligence is superseded by a collective consciousness that shares information and moves with a single purpose for the benefit of all. This behavior applies to a number of creatures that 2014-05-21 20:00:00expired2014-06-20 20:00:00June 20, 2014disabledshowfalse12703Helping Fruit Bat Orphans in Australia Bev Brown devotes her time to helping fruit bat orphans in Melbourne, Australia. 2015-09-30 00:00:00http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/files/2015/09/Natures_Miracle_Orphans_Pt2.00_19_23_27.Still006-480x270.png2365557951cove8694A bat night flight over the ShannonThe scene of bats on the hunt at night over the Shannon River in Ireland. 2014-02-26 21:00:00http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/files/2014/09/mezzanine_859-480x270.png2365178836cove