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ABSTRACT Divers observed schools of Euphausia superba off the South Shetland Islands and in Gerlache Strait near the Antarctic Peninsula. Euphausiids almost always occurred within the confines of dense schools swimming in one direction. Schools formed an infinite variety of shapes but usually were narrow in at least one dimension, so that individuals within a school were never far from its edge. Schools moved at about 20 cm/s, primarily horizontally, and vertical displacement was always accompanied by much larger horizontal excursions. Opaque, presumably necrotic, euphausiids occurred within schools, indicating that schooling may have epidemiologic disadvantages. Schools exhibited a variety of behavioral responses to potential and actual predators (sea birds and whales). A hypothesis of ontogenetic differences in schooling behavior proposes that juveniles migrate long distances horizontally in search of food over both shallow and deep waters, but that schools of adults spawn in or near deep water so that rapidly sinking eggs are not deposited on the sea bed.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024.


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