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Type: Journal article
Title: From disorder to order in marching locusts
Author: Buhl, J.
Sumpter, D.
Couzin, I.
Hale, J.
Despland, E.
Miller, E.
Simpson, S.
Citation: Science, 2006; 312(5778):1402-1406
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 0036-8075
Statement of
J. Buhl, D. J. T. Sumpter, I. D. Couzin, J. J. Hale, E. Despland, E. R. Miller, S. J. Simpson
Abstract: Recent models from theoretical physics have predicted that mass-migrating animal groups may share group-level properties, irrespective of the type of animals in the group. One key prediction is that as the density of animals in the group increases, a rapid transition occurs from disordered movement of individuals within the group to highly aligned collective motion. Understanding such a transition is crucial to the control of mobile swarming insect pests such as the desert locust. We confirmed the prediction of a rapid transition from disordered to ordered movement and identified a critical density for the onset of coordinated marching in locust nymphs. We also demonstrated a dynamic instability in motion at densities typical of locusts in the field, in which groups can switch direction without external perturbation, potentially facilitating the rapid transfer of directional information.
Keywords: Animals; Grasshoppers; Mass Behavior; Population Density; Movement; Models, Biological
Rights: ©American Association for the Advancement of Science
RMID: 0030009495
DOI: 10.1126/science.1125142
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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