"This week, scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., noticed an enormous school of anchovies gathering near the coast. Pressed into a huge swarm, an estimated one billion of the tiny fish are taking cues from their neighbors, carefully coordinating their every move.
The researchers do not know why this school is so large and so close to shore. But small fish typically aggregate into schools to foil large predators.
'It offers some protection,' said H.J. Walker, manager of the marine vertebrates collection at Scripps. 'It’s a good way to disrupt predators that would normally chase down one individual fish.'"