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Random patterns in fish schooling enhance alertness: a hydrodynamic perspective

Kadri, Usama, Brümmer, F. and Kadri, A. 2016. Random patterns in fish schooling enhance alertness: a hydrodynamic perspective. EPL (Europhysics Letters) 116 (3) , 34002. 10.1209/0295-5075/116/34002

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One of the most highly debated questions in the field of animal swarming and social behaviour is the collective random patterns and chaotic behaviour formed by some animal species, in particular if there is a danger. Is such a behaviour beneficial or unfavourable for survival? Here we report on one of the most remarkable forms of animal swarming and social behaviour —fish schooling— from a hydrodynamic point of view. We found that some fish species do not have preferred orientation and they swarm in a random pattern mode, despite the excess of energy consumed. Our analyses, which include calculations of the hydrodynamic forces between slender bodies, show that such a behaviour may enhance the transfer of hydrodynamic information, and thus the survivability of the school could improve. These findings support the general hypothesis that a disordered and nontrivial collective behaviour of individuals within a nonlinear dynamical system is essential for optimising transfer of information —an optimisation that might be crucial for survival.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Mathematics
Publisher: IOP
ISSN: 0295-5075
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 March 2017
Date of Acceptance: 24 November 2016
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2018 17:01

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