Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-7c2ld Total loading time: 0.338 Render date: 2021-11-30T21:23:45.678Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

15 - Perspectives on sensory integration systems: Problems, opportunities, and predictions

from Part three - Behavioral ecology and evolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 June 2010

Julia K. Parrish
Affiliation:
University of Washington
William M. Hamner
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles
Get access

Summary

It is more pleasant to present great ideas than to engage in painstaking collection of data.

Tjeerd van Andel

Introduction

There is something captivating about large groups of animals moving swiftly and synchronously. A flock of pigeons wheeling over a city park or a silvery cloud of anchovies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is fascinating and beautiful to people far removed from those of us who study and think critically about animal aggregations and schools. Although scientists have been interested in animal group dynamics for many years, these phenomena have proved difficult to manage quantitatively. Until recently, much that was written about school structure and function was of necessity based on the analysis of very small groups or upon rather subjective or rational arguments.

A pertinent example of the latter is Hamilton's 1971 model for animal aggregation, the “Selfish Herd.” This results from a progression of logic that predicts that individuals will seek the interior of a group because they are safer there than they would be at the edge. Given his assumptions, the frogs in Hamilton's thought experiment hop into groups and thereby improve their odds. At least one of those frogs will lose due to its lack of nearby neighbors. The “selfish herd” has rightly been an important part of thinking about predators and schooling prey for two decades.

But models must be tested against nature and the naturalists among us know that there's more to it than jockeying for the inside track. Among the city pigeons, recognizable individuals change relative positions frequently and move throughout the flock.

Type
Chapter
Information
Animal Groups in Three Dimensions
How Species Aggregate
, pp. 225 - 244
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1997

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
9
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×