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


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

http://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/factsheets/schooling.html

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


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