Advertisement

Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 277–288 | Cite as

The three-dimensional structure of fish schools

  • Brian L. Partridge
  • Tony Pitcher
  • J. Michael Cullen
  • John Wilson
Article

Summary

  1. 1.

    Methods for producing and analyzing long-term three-dimensional records of the positions of individuals within fish schools are described. Detailed analysis of internal structure and overall shapes of schools of three species which school to varying degrees are reported: Data from cod (Gadus morhua), a weak facultative schooler, saithe (Pollachius virens), a strong facultative schooler, and herring (Clupea harengus), an obligate schooler, are presented.

     
  2. 2.

    Fish do not position themselves at random within schools (Figs. 1 and 2). This is shown to result from the maintenance of minimum approach distances between fish (Fig. 3). Comparison of the frequency of neighbors at different distances with that expected at random (Fig. 3), however, demonstrates that fish space themselves more regularly than one would expect if the structure resulted wholly from minimum approach distances.

     
  3. 3.

    Herring and saithe are shown to swim at nearly but not exactly the same depth as their neighbors (Fig. 5). Neighbors are more-or-less equally common in all directions (bearings) around fish, although herring show some tendency toward taking up positions at 45° and 135°, the positions expected if school structure were a cubic lattice. School structure is present in a statistical sense only.

     
  4. 4.

    Herring are shown to maintain proportionately larger interfish distances than do saithe or cod (Fig. 7). These results are discussed in terms of the body structure of the three species and the antipredator function of schooling. Shape of cod schools and, to a lesser degree, saithe schools, is shown to be highly variable. Herring schools, however, appear fairly constant in their external shape (Fig. 10).

     
  5. 5.

    Factors affecting the structure of schools of saithe are studied. Increasing the number of fish in the school or the speed at which it is swimming results in smaller interfish distances (Figs. 8 and 9).

     

Keywords

Detailed Analysis Internal Structure Statistical Sense Body Structure Minimum Approach 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bateson, W.: The sense-organs and perceptions of fish: With remarks on the supply of bait. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK 1, 225–256 (1889)Google Scholar
  2. Blaxter, J.H.S.: Effect of change of light intensity on fish. Int. Counc. N. Atlantic Fish. Spec. Publ. 6, 648–661 (1965)Google Scholar
  3. Breder, C.M., Jr.: Equations descriptive of fish schools and other animal aggregations. Ecology 35, 361–370 (1954)Google Scholar
  4. Breder, C.M., Jr.: Studies on social groupings in fish. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 117, 397–481 (1959)Google Scholar
  5. Breder, C.M., Jr.: Vortices and fish schools. Zoologica 50, 97–114 (1965)Google Scholar
  6. Breder, C.M., Jr.: On the survival value of fish schools. Zoologica 52, 25–40 (1967)Google Scholar
  7. Breder, C.M., Jr.: Fish schools as operational structures. Fish. Bull. 74, 471–502 (1976)Google Scholar
  8. Cullen, J.M., Shaw, E., Baldwin, H.: Methods for measuring the 3-D structure of fish schools. Anim. Behav. 13, 534–543 (1965)Google Scholar
  9. Cushing, D.H.: Observations on fish schools with the ARL scanner. J. Cons. Int. Expl., Mer. 170, 15–20 (1977)Google Scholar
  10. Hamilton, W.D.: Geometry for the selfish herd. J. Theor. Biol. 31, 295–311 (1971)Google Scholar
  11. Hemmings, C.C.: Olfaction and vision in fish schooling. J. Exp. Biol. 45, 449–464 (1966)Google Scholar
  12. Hunter, J.R.: Procedure for analysis of schooling behavior. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 23, 547–562 (1966)Google Scholar
  13. Lythgoe, J.N.: Visual pigments and underwater vision. In: Light as an ecological factor. Bainbridge et al. (eds.), pp. 375–391. Oxford: Oxford University 1962Google Scholar
  14. Keenleyside, M.: Aspects of schooling behavior in fish. Behavior 8, 83–248 (1955)Google Scholar
  15. Major, P.F.: Predator-prey interactions in schooling fishes during periods of twighlight: A study of the silverside Pranesus insularium in Hawaii. U.S. Fish. Bull 75, 415–426 (1976)Google Scholar
  16. Major, P.F., Dill, L.M.: The three-dimensional structure of airborne bird flocks. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 4, 111–122 (1978)Google Scholar
  17. Neill, S.R., St. J., Cullen, M.: Experiments on whether schooling by their prey affects the hunting behaviour of cephalopods and fish predators. J. Zool. 172, 549–569 (1974)Google Scholar
  18. Nursall, J.R.: Some behavioral interactions of spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius), yellow perch (Perca flavescens) and northern pike (Esox lucius). J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 30, 1161–1178 (1973)Google Scholar
  19. Olst, J.C. van, Hunter, J.R.: Some aspects of the organisation of fish schools. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 27, 1225–1238 (1970)Google Scholar
  20. Parr, E.A.: A contribution to the theoretical analysis of the schooling behavior of fishes. Occas. Pap. Bingham. Ocean. Coll. 1, 1–32 (1927)Google Scholar
  21. Partridge, B.L.: Sensory aspects of schooling. D. Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, p. 550 (1978)Google Scholar
  22. Partridge, B.L.: The effect of school size on the structure and dynamics of minnow schools. Anim. Behav. 28, 68–77 (1980)Google Scholar
  23. Partridge, B.L.: The structure and function of fish schools. Oxford: Oxford University (in press) (1980)Google Scholar
  24. Partridge, B.L., Cullen, J.M.: A low cost interactive coordinate plotter. Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 9, 473–479 (1977)Google Scholar
  25. Partridge, B.L., Dawkins, R., Amlaner, C.: Voltage controlled oscillators: Inexpensive alternative to analogue-digital converters. Behav. Res. Methods Instrum. 10, 712–714 (1978)Google Scholar
  26. Partridge, B.L., Pitcher, T.J.: Evidence against a hydrodynamic function for fish schools. Nature 279, 418–419 (1979)Google Scholar
  27. Partridge, B.L., Pitcher, T.J.: The sensory basis of fish schools: Relative roles of lateral line and vision. J. Comp. Physiol. (in press) (1980)Google Scholar
  28. Pielou, E.C.: An introduction to mathematical ecology. New York: Wiley 1969Google Scholar
  29. Pitcher, T.J.: The 3-dimensional structure of schools in the minnow (Phoxinus phoximus). Anim. Behav. 21, 673–686 (1973)Google Scholar
  30. Pitcher, T.J.: A periscopic method, for determining the 3-D positions of fish in schools. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 32, 1533–1538 (1975)Google Scholar
  31. Pitcher, T.J.: Sensory information and the organisation of behavior in a shoaling cyprinid fish. Anim. Behav. 27, 126–149 (1979)Google Scholar
  32. Pitcher, T.J., Partridge, B.L.: Fish school density and volume. Mar. Biol. 54, 383–394 (1979)Google Scholar
  33. Pitcher, T.J., Partridge, B.L., Wardle, C.S.: A blind fish can school. Science 194, 963–965 (1976)Google Scholar
  34. Potts, G.V.N.: The schooling ethology of Lutianus monostigmata (pisces) in the shallow reef environment of Aldabra. J. Zool. 101, 223–235 (1970)Google Scholar
  35. Radakov, D.V.: On the adaptive significance of shoaling of young coal fish (Pollachius virens) (in Russian). Vopr. Ikhtiol. 11, 69–74 (1958)Google Scholar
  36. Radakov, D.V.: Schooling in the ecology of fish. Israeli Scientific Translation Series. New York: John Wiley and Sons 1973Google Scholar
  37. Saetersdahl, G.: Review of the information on the behavior of gadoid fish. In: FAO conference on fish behavior, 1967. FR:FB (67) R-11. Bergen, pp. 201–215, 1967Google Scholar
  38. Seghers, B.: Schooling behaviour in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) an evolutionary response to predation. Evolution 28, 488–489 (1974)Google Scholar
  39. Serebrov, L.I.: Relationship between school density and size of fish. J. Ichthyol. 15, 135–140 (1974)Google Scholar
  40. Shaw, E.: Schooling in fishes: Critique and review. In: Development and evolution of behavior. Aronson, L., Tobach, E., Lehrman, D., Rosenblatt, J. (eds.), pp. 452–480. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman 1970Google Scholar
  41. Shaw, E.: Schooling fish. Am. Sci. 66, 166–175 (1978)Google Scholar
  42. Siegel, S.: Nonparametric statistics for the behavioral sciences. Tokyo: McGraw-Hill 1956Google Scholar
  43. Sokal, R., Rohlf, F.: Biometry. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman 1969Google Scholar
  44. Symons, P.E.: Spacing and density of schooling three spine stickle-backs and mummichog. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 28, 999–1004 (1971a)Google Scholar
  45. Symons, P.E.: Estimating distances between fish in an aquarium. J. Fish. Res. Board Can. 28, 1085–1086 (1971b)Google Scholar
  46. Treisman, M.: Predation and the evolution of gregariousness. I. Models of concealment and evasion. Anim. Behav. 23, 779–800 (1975)Google Scholar
  47. Wardle, C.S., Anthony, P.D.: Experimental methods used for the study of fish behaviour in large tanks. I.C.E.S., CM 1973/B:22 (1973)Google Scholar
  48. Weihs, D.: Hydrodynamics of fish schooling. Nature 241, 290–291 (1973)Google Scholar
  49. Weihs, D.: Some hydrodynamical aspects of fish schooling. In: Proc. Sym. Swimming and Flying in Nature. Pasadena, California, July 1974. Wu, T., Brokaw, C., Brennen, C. (eds.), vol. 2, pp. 703–718. New York: Plenum 1975Google Scholar
  50. Williams, G.C.: Measurements of consociation among fishes and comments on the evolution of schooling. Publ. Mus. Mich. State Univ. Biol. Ser. 2, 349–384 (1964)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian L. Partridge
    • 1
  • Tony Pitcher
    • 2
  • J. Michael Cullen
    • 3
  • John Wilson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordEngland
  2. 2.School of Biological and Environmental StudiesNew University of UlsterColeraineNorthern Ireland
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MonashClaytonAustralia

Personalised recommendations