Flocks & Shoals

Before I met Flocks & Shoals, I did neither know what “flocks” meant, nor “shoals”…I guess these two words are not among the reputed 10.000 words that enable a foreigner to speak okay-English.

The terminology for different kinds of animal assemblies is purely fascinating, even more when you compare terms from different languages. For example in German you use “Schwarm” for an assembly of birds, but also for fish who appear in a larger group. In English, “flocks” refers to birds, while “shoals” refers to fish. Here we go.

Of course, there are many more terms that describe groups of certain animals. Think of it! The linguistic diversity refers to the diversity of social grouping. Each breed can be distinguished by special behavior patterns and underlying rules. The reasons for collective animal behavior may be similar: protection against predators, social interaction, enhanced locomotion and foraging. But how does it work? And what are the risks? How does it feel to be part of it? What’s the experience for someone from the outside? How can one enter?

Please gather! We welcome you to the universe of Flocks & Shoals!


Photo: Flocking Herding Shoaling Swarming at MicaMoca Berlin, Credit: Roger Rossel.


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