Functions of Shoaling Behaviour in Teleosts

  • Tony J. Pitcher

Abstract

Predators and food are the keys to understanding fish shoals; synchronised co-operation defeats predators, and optimal food gathering in shoals reflects a shifting balance between joining, competing in, or leaving the group. In the wild, predators may arrive while shoaling fish are feeding, and so vigilance is a crucial behaviour. Once detected, predator defence takes precedence over feeding, since an animal’s life is worth more than today’s dinner.

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© Tony J. Pitcher 1986

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