Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Fish Schools
Name: Didi
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

How do schools of fish form? Are they family, or do they invite any similiar fish to join the group?

This is from a very helpful page with a lot more about schooling

When young, most fish species do not exhibit the schooling pattern. As they mature, they begin to swim in pairs and then in larger and larger clusters until they attain the classic parallel pattern. Thus, schooling can be said to be a formed behavior pattern imprinted on the genetic material. Research leads us to believe that as the sense organs of the young mature, their schooling behavior strengthens. The first sense used is that of sight, which begins to function immediately after birth to allow for feeding. Fish eyes cannot focus directly forward because they are located on the sides of the head. This placement does, however, permit the eyes to be especially sensitive to lateral movement-a very helpful attribute in schooling. The fish can see what other members of the school are doing in relationship to themselves and respond accordingly.

J Elliott

Click here to return to the Zoology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory