July 4, 2022
A sentinel species describes any organism that is used to detect risks to humans by providing an early warning sign of danger. The classic example of this concept are canaries used in coal mines during the 1900s. Miners would bring caged canaries with them into the mines because if there were any noxious gases the canaries would die first due to their smaller size. They would see the dead canary and exit the mine before they could be affected by the gases.