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We present a self-organizing model of group formation in three-dimensional space, and use it to investigate the spatial dynamics of animal groups such as fish schools and bird flocks. We reveal the existence of major group-level behavioural transitions related to minor changes in individual-level interactions. Further, we present the first evidence for(More)
BACKGROUND Camouflage patterns that hinder detection and/or recognition by antagonists are widely studied in both human and animal contexts. Patterns of contrasting stripes that purportedly degrade an observer's ability to judge the speed and direction of moving prey ('motion dazzle') are, however, rarely investigated. This is despite motion dazzle having(More)
The antipredator benefits of grouping are relatively well understood; however, predation risk often differs for individuals that occupy different positions within a group. The selfish herd hypothesis describes how individuals can reduce risk of predation by moving to specific positions within the group. In existing theory, this movement occurs through the(More)
Experiments with wild birds feeding on pastry 'prey' were performed to test competing theories of Müllerian mimicry Conventional theories predict that all resemblances between defended prey will be mutually advantageous and, hence, Müllerian. In contrast, unconventional theories predict that, if there are inequalities in defences between mimetic species,(More)
Many animals are toxic or unpalatable and signal this to predators with warning signals (aposematism). Aposematic appearance has long been a classical system to study predator-prey interactions, communication and signalling, and animal behaviour and learning. The area has received considerable empirical and theoretical investigation. However, most research(More)
Many prey species use colourful 'aposematic' signalling to advertise the fact that they are toxic. Some recent studies have shown that the brightness of aposematic displays correlates positively with the strength of toxicity, suggesting that aposematic displays are a form of handicap signal, the conspicuousness of which reliably indicates the level of(More)
Observations were made on three fish species (banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus), golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni)) in a temperate lake (New Brunswick, Canada) in order to investigate the relationship between shoal choice behaviour of individual fishes and shoal composition. Encounters between shoals were(More)
Many traits in animals reduce the rate of attack from visually hunting predators, including camouflage, warning signals and mimicry. In addition, some animal markings may reduce the likelihood that an attack ends in successful capture. These might include dazzle markings, high-contrast patterns that make the estimation of speed and trajectory difficult.(More)
Many animals use bright colouration to advertise their toxicity to predators. It is now well established that both toxicity and colouration are often variable within prey populations, yet it is an open question whether or not brighter signals should be used by the more toxic members of the population. We therefore describe a model in which signal honesty(More)
The hypothesis of the selfish herd has been highly influential to our understanding of animal aggregation. Various movement strategies have been proposed by which individuals might aggregate to form a selfish herd as a defence against predation, but although the spatial benefits of these strategies have been extensively studied, little attention has been(More)