A quarter of the known fish species shoal throughout their life, quoted a scientist working on fish shoaling behavior. I wondered how these numbers compare with terrestrial animals. Among invertebrates only few taxa live in groups, the celebrated ones being bees, ants, wasps and termites. Agreed that many higher vertebrates especially mammals live in groups such as elephants, hyenas, primates, meercats and wolves (I am sure you can think of at least 5 more). However it seems a small proportion of terrestrial animals group compared to fish. For argument sake, let us agree that fish group more than terrestrial animals. Here is the main point I want to make: why do fish group more than terrestrial animals? Here is a brilliant and silly idea as to why: I think it is because in water as opposed to on land, there is a third axis to group/aggregate. This extra dimension (basically depth) adds to the space available for grouping. It would be really cool if one could construct a mathematical model to study grouping tendency in 2-D space and then add more dimensions to the model to see if and how grouping tendencies increase. Vishu? Jaideep? Any thoughts?
But seriously, fish shoal for small talk and gossip and some discuss the meaning of life.