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Updated: 04/12/2018 08:30:01AM

School’s in session

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By Betty Staugler

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Who hasn’t sat in awe watching large coordinated schools of fish shimmering in unison through complicated maneuvers with each member precisely spaced apart? These schools seem to effortlessly turn, expand, contract, wishbone apart and then come back together … all without missing a beat.

There are actually two types of fish aggregations — schools and shoals. A shoal is a loose aggregation and sometimes comprises different species. These fish hang out together for social reasons but are not organized. Schools are shoals on steroids. They are highly structured and coordinated. There is no clear rule for calling a shoal a shoal and a school a school, since all schools are shoals by definition.

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