Navigation Links
Understanding behavioral patterns: Why bird flocks move in unison
Date:9/14/2010

Animal flocks, be it honeybees, fish, ants or birds, often move in surprising synchronicity and seemingly make unanimous decisions at a moment's notice, a phenomenon which has remained puzzling to many researchers.

New research published today, Wednesday 15 September, in New Journal of Physics (co-owned by the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society), uses a particle model to explain the collective decision making process of flocks of birds landing on foraging flights.

Using a simple self-propelled particle (SPP) system, which sees the birds represented by particles with such parameters as position and velocity, the researchers from Budapest, Hungary, find that the collective switching from the flying to the landing state overrides the individual landing intentions of each bird.

In the absence of a decision making leader, the collective shift to land is heavily influenced by perturbations the individual birds are subject to, such as the birds' flying position within the flock. This can be compared to an avalanche of piled up sand, which would occur even for perfectly symmetric and cautiously placed grains, but in reality happens much sooner because of increasing, non-linear fluctuations.

As the researchers explain, "Our main motivation was to better understand something which is puzzling and out there in nature, especially in cases involving the stopping or starting of a collective behavioural pattern in a group of people or animals.

"We propose a simple model for a system whose members have the tendency to follow the others both in space and in their state of mind concerning a decision about stopping an activity. This is a very general model, which can be applied to similar situations."

Possible applications include collectively flying, unmanned aerial vehicles, initiating a desired motion pattern in crowds or groups of animals and even finance, where the results could be used to interpret collective effects on selling or buying shares on the stock market.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lena Weber
lena.weber@iop.org
44-020-747-04896
Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. OU study on genetics in fruit flies leads to new method for understanding brain function
2. Sensor important to understanding root, seedling development
3. Understanding cancer using the fruit fly
4. Researchers advance understanding of enzyme that regulates DNA
5. Important clue to understanding the pathogenesis of ciliary disorders
6. Breakthrough in understanding cell development
7. Research is getting closer to understanding critical nucleus in haze formation, prof says
8. Understanding robustness in organisms -- a potential weapon against infectious diseases
9. Stretching molecules yields new understanding of electricity
10. NIST scientists gain new core understanding of nanoparticles
11. Pollution dispersion research aids understanding of 2002 break-up of Antarctic ozone hole
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... ABI Research, the leader in transformative ... market will reach more than $30 billion by ... Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue to boost the ... reach two billion shipments by 2021 at a ... Research Analyst at ABI Research. "Surveillance is also ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... HANOVER , Allemagne, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> - ... ) - --> ... les solutions biométriques, fournit de nouveaux lecteurs d,empreintes ... lecteur LF10 de DERMALOG sera utilisé pour produire ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board ... BIO 2016 in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the ... questions and discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand by the National ... no stranger to going above and beyond in his pursuit of providing the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of Athens say they have ... be hampering the research that could lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has ... now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who got a ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age ... her left knee. Lady’s owner Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of ... repair her cruciate ligament and help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen ...
Breaking Biology Technology: