Jon Chamberlain - Researcher in Computer Science and Marine Biology

Jon Chamberlain - Researcher in Computer Science and Marine Biology

Picture of Schooling Bannerfish

Schooling Bannerfish

Whilst on a shallow dive at Jackson Reef in the Straits of Tiran a huge aggregation of Schooling Bannerfish (Heniochus diphreutes) came swimming past. Adults usually swim in groups in midwater but the younger juveniles inhabit isolated coral heads.

Safety in numbers

Many marine species use shoaling (where groups of fish swim together) as a social defense strategy. Predators find it difficult to isolate and attack individual fish when they are swimming together. Other benefits from shoaling behaviour include increasing the likelihood of finding food and better chances at finding a mate. It is also possible that younger members of the shoal learn from more experienced ones.

Bannerfish swim in a school (rather than a shoal), which is defined as a group of the same species swimming in a highly synchronised manner.
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