The struggle to survive isn't always a fair fight. Here's what separates nature's winners from its losers.
More than half a green heron’s length comes from its oversized neck. In a flash, a heron can outstretch its neck to grab or stab a fish using its spear-like beak.
A bluegill’s skinny body is built to slice swiftly through water and weave around vegetation.
Green herons use bait — such as insects, feathers, or twigs — to lure jittery fish into striking range.
A bluegill can see objects smaller than dust specks from 17 inches away. Spotting something as large as a heron isn’t a problem.
Herons have a transparent third eyelid, called a nictitating membrane, that protects their eyes underwater. Grasshopper Bluegill
This one’s a tossup. Green herons only catch about half the fish they go after. But if the bluegill takes the bait, it’s likely to become sushi.
Nichole LeClair Terrill