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Fish follow the rules to school
Date:11/8/2011

. Researchers in the collective animal behaviour group in Uppsala use a combination of data analysis and mathematical modelling to understand how, not only fish, but animals as diverse as ants, birds and humans behave together in groups.

Two videos feature shoals of four mosquito fish swimming in a rectangular tank. The first (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DJWFt7yY8Y) shows how fish are tracked individually to follow their position and direction of movement. In the second video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVuG8pS4oBc), all the frames are transformed to follow the movement of one of the fish (in red). The colour of the other fish reflects their distance from the focal fish: the fish marked in green is the nearest neighbour etc. By looking at where the other fish of the shoal are when the fish in red speeds up, slows down, or turns to a particular direction the researchers can learn what "rules of motion" fish follow when schooling together.


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Contact: David Sumpter
david.sumpter@math.uu.se
46-073-069-0511
Uppsala University
Source:Eurekalert

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