How do schools of fish form? Are they family, or do they invite
any similiar fish to join the group?
This is from a very helpful page with a lot more about schooling
When young, most fish species do not exhibit the schooling pattern. As they
mature, they begin to swim in pairs and then in larger and larger clusters
until they attain the classic parallel pattern. Thus, schooling can be said
to be a formed behavior pattern imprinted on the genetic material.
Research leads us to believe that as the sense organs of the young mature,
their schooling behavior strengthens. The first sense used is that of
sight, which begins to function immediately after birth to allow for
feeding. Fish eyes cannot focus directly forward because they are located
on the sides of the head. This placement does, however, permit the eyes to
be especially sensitive to lateral movement-a very helpful attribute in
schooling. The fish can see what other members of the school are doing in
relationship to themselves and respond accordingly.
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Update: June 2012