AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Fish Schooling Not Nurture, But Nature

Recent research done by by biologist’s Catherine Peichel and Clifford Tabin show that the complex actions that are required by fish that travel in Schools. Fish that travel in schools do so to better protect themselves from predators, but swimming in a school requires an enormous amount of synchronization in body patterns and the ability to the change with water currents and other environmental changes. The first study conducted by Peichel in which she gathered Sticklebacks that were prone to joining schools and those that were not, showed differences in certain genetic regions. This suggests that the act of traveling in a school is not stored in memory, but is stored in their genetic make up. Research done by Tabin suggests that the eyes are  a huge part of Schooling. He found that blind Sticklebacks dwell deep underwater in solitude while the others travel in their schools. This research relates to whether Humans are driven to stay in packs and be around each other because of these certain genetic regions, or whether we as people were brought up this way.




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  1. katnizz

    interesting how you linked this article to wolfpacks. After thinking about it and looking at the attached link, i see what you are talking about. Here is another article about wolves that shows a bunch of interesting activities wolves do together. These include hunting, social life, and defending territory.

  2. celine2

    This article is very interesting. I’ve done some research on this topic, and seemed to find a lot of sources redirecting me back to the experiment mentioned above conducted by Current Biology. However, it was hard to find other supporting experiments. One contradictory book written by Vernon E. Brock and Robert H. Riffenburgh named Fish Schooling: A Possible Factor in Reducing Predation concludes that fish schooling is a visual response to the fish in the same species. The supporting evidence is that fish who are blind and who are in the dark in many different species do not school effectively. It will be interesting to see further experiments and research done in the future to see if fish schooling is actually imbedded in the genes. Source:

  3. biolabski

    How interesting! Reading this immediately reminded me of wolf packs. Wolves are known to be social creatures that always travel in packs. This wolf packs make up their social structure and their way of life. The wolves hunt together and always look out for each other. This is a link that discusses wolf packs:
    Do you think that wolves behave this way due to certain genetic regions as well?

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