Emergent runaway into an avoidance area in a swarm of soldier crabs

Hisashi Murakami, Takenori Tomaru, Yuta Nishiyama, Toru Moriyama, Takayuki Niizato, Yukio Pegio Gunji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Emergent behavior that arises from a mass effect is one of the most striking aspects of collective animal groups. Investigating such behavior would be important in order to understand how individuals interact with their neighbors. Although there are many experiments that have used collective animals to investigate social learning or conflict between individuals and society such as that between a fish and a school, reports on mass effects are rare. In this study, we show that a swarm of soldier crabs could spontaneously enter a water pool, which are usually avoided, by forming densely populated part of a swarm at the edge of the water pool. Moreover, we show that the observed behavior can be explained by the model of collective behavior based on inherent noise that is individuals' different velocities in a directed group. Our results suggest that inherent noise, which is widely seen in collective animals, can contribute to formation and/or maintenance of a swarm and that the dense swarm can enter the pool by means of enhanced inherent noise.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere97870
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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