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Video by Mui Ting Fai

If the shoal becomes more tightly organized, with the fish synchronizing their swimming so they all move at the same speed and in the same direction, then the fish may be said to be schooling. Schooling fish are usually of the same species and the same age/size. Fish schools move with the individual members precisely spaced from each other. The schools undertake complicated maneuvers, as though the schools have minds of their own.

The intricacies of schooling are far from fully understood, especially the swimming and feeding energetics. Many hypotheses to explain the function of schooling have been suggested, such as better orientation, synchronized hunting, predator confusion and reduced risk of being found.