Monday, June 14, 2010
June 14, 2010 : Shoals and Schools
Shoals and Schools
In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are said to be shoaling (pronounced /ˈʃoʊlɪŋ/), and if, in addition, the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are said to be schooling (pronounced /ˈskuːlɪŋ/). In common usage, the terms are sometimes used rather loosely. About one quarter of fishes shoal all their lives, and about one half of fishes shoal for part of their lives.
Fish derive many benefits from shoaling behaviour including defence against predators (through better predator detection and by diluting the chance of individual capture), enhanced foraging success, and higher success in finding a mate. It is also likely that fish benefit from shoal membership through increased hydrodynamic efficiency.
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