A large group of fishes or other aquatic animals, swimming in a coordinated way (Synonym: shoal)
By swimming together in large numbers, the members of the school obtain a reciprocal protection because all those who are inside the shoal cannot be easily reached by any predator.
Only the peripherical individuals have incomplete protection. However all members take turns to occupy the exposed positions. A somewhat similar behavior can be observed in migrating birds (ducks, swallows, for instance)
The school phenomenon is obviously a very basic root of sociality. It shows the importance of environmental pressure that generates cohesion, coalitions, coordination (and generally what could be called "co-behavior") in groups of originally isolated individuals.
Curiously enough, the school behavior became the response of oceanic convoys to submarine attacks during World War II. This behavior was one of the first results of operation research
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: