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University of Alberta researchers unravel intricate animal patterns

also describe new patterns that have not been reported before such as zigzag pulses, feathers and traveling breathers.

This model doesn’t apply to specific species, says Eftimie. "However, we can think of those flocks of birds that fly in one direction, and then suddenly change direction 180 degrees, and compare this with the zigzagging type of pattern shown by the numerical simulations. Or we can think about the anti-predatory behaviour exhibited by some schools of fish--when a predator is nearby, the school contracts in a tight aggregation, to expand again when the predator is gone. And we can try to compare this behaviour with the breather pattern described in our paper."

The results of the model suggest that if we want to better understand the aggregations we see in nature, says Eftimie, we should take a look at how these animals communicate.
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Source:University of Alberta


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