uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Interaction rules underlying group decisions in homing pigeons
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Mathematics.
2013 (English)In: Journal of the Royal Society Interface, ISSN 1742-5662, E-ISSN 1742-5689, Vol. 10, no 89, 20130529- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Travelling in groups gives animals opportunities to share route information by following cues from each other's movement. The outcome of group navigation will depend on how individuals respond to each other within a flock, school, swarm or herd. Despite the abundance of modelling studies, only recently have researchers developed techniques to determine the interaction rules among real animals. Here, we use high-resolution GPS (global positioning system) tracking to study these interactions in pairs of pigeons flying home from a familiar site. Momentary changes in velocity indicate alignment with the neighbour's direction, as well as attraction or avoidance depending on distance. Responses were stronger when the neighbour was in front. From the flocking behaviour, we develop a model to predict features of group navigation. Specifically, we show that the interactions between pigeons stabilize a side-by-side configuration, promoting bidirectional information transfer and reducing the risk of separation. However, if one bird gets in front it will lead directional choices. Our model further predicts, and observations confirm, that a faster bird (as measured from solo flights) will fly slightly in front and thus dominate the choice of homing route. Our results explain how group decisions emerge from individual differences in homing flight behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 10, no 89, 20130529- p.
Keyword [en]
collective animal behaviour, leadership, bird flocks, collective decision-making, self-propelled particles
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219983DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2013.0529ISI: 000330302400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219983DiVA: diva2:704287
Available from: 2014-03-11 Created: 2014-03-09 Last updated: 2014-03-11Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1079 kB)84 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1079 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Perna, AndreaSumpter, David J. T.
By organisation
Department of Mathematics
In the same journal
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Natural Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 84 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 228 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link