In our paper “Emergent sensing of complex environments by mobile animal groups“, published in Science, we immerse groups of schooling fish simulated environments where they attempt to seek out preferred habitat. This allows us to reveal how animal groups use emergent sensing as a strategy for taxis in complex and dynamic environments. This paper is available open access from our publications page.
The short movie below shows a portion of an experiment in both visible (top panel) and infrared (bottom panel). Filming in infrared allowed us to track the fish unhindered by the light gradients. The trajectories we obtained could be overlaid onto the projected light fields to calculate the gradient tracking ability and uncover the mechanism behind the collective taxis we observed.
You can also read more about the paper on:
- National Geographic’s Not Exactly Rocket Science
- New Scientist
- NPR’s Science Fridays (video below)
Further information about the paper can be found here.