This is another theme I struggled with.  I haven’t got any photos of schools or school days and even my photos of fish aren’t quite right because some of the fish are pointing in the wrong direction.  But I shall share this one with you, which is the best I have to hand.

From Wiki:

In biology, any group of fish that stay together for social reasons are said to be shoaling (pronounced /ˈʃoʊlɪŋ/), and if, in addition, the group is swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner, they are said to be schooling (pronounced /ˈskuːlɪŋ/).[1] In common usage, the terms are sometimes used rather loosely.[1] About one quarter of fishes shoal all their lives, and about one half of fishes shoal for part of their lives.[2]

Fish derive many benefits from shoaling behaviour including defence against predators (through better predator detection and by diluting the chance of individual capture), enhanced foraging success, and higher success in finding a mate. It is also likely that fish benefit from shoal membership through increased hydrodynamic efficiency.

Fish use many traits to choose shoalmates. Generally they prefer larger shoals, shoalmates of their own species, shoalmates similar in size and appearance to themselves, healthy fish, and kin (when recognized).

The “oddity effect” posits that any shoal member that stands out in appearance will be preferentially targeted by predators. This may explain why fish prefer to shoal with individuals that resemble themselves. The oddity effect would thus tend to homogenize shoals.


For more of this weeks PhotoHunt pictures check out tnchick.

18 Comments CherryPie on Sep 17th 2010

18 Responses to “PhotoHunt – School”

  1. Sean Jeating says:

    Excellent take of the theme, if a no-photohunter may say so.
    Same goes for the photo.

  2. I thought of that too, but no fish pictures.

  3. Claudia says:

    This is a very interesting photo and story. Thanks! Actually fish are not very different than us socially. Most of us feel more protected with people of our own kind, or similar to us.

  4. Lilian says:

    Nice picture. Chartwell is lovely.

  5. I’m glad you added the explanation. It shows once again that unity is strength or at lest there is safety in numbers. Have a great weekend!

  6. excellent take on this weeks theme!

  7. Liz says:

    Great take on the theme.

    Have a great weekend.

    Liz @ MLC

  8. Marta says:

    Thanks for the information about the different ways fish group together. I never really had realized that a ’school’ actually swims in the same direction. And a nice picture of the fish pond.

  9. ann says:

    always wonder why it was a school of fish.