Initiation and spread of escape waves within animal groups
Herbert-Read, James E.
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The exceptional reactivity of animal collectives to predatory attacks is thought to be owing to rapid, but local, transfer of information between group members. These groups turn together in unison and produce escape waves. However, it is not clear how escape waves are created from local interactions, nor is it understood how these patterns are shaped by natural selection. By startling schools of fish with a simulated attack in an experimental arena, we demonstrate that changes in the direction and speed by a small percentage of individuals that detect the danger initiate an escape wave.
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