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Murmuration (of Starlings)

We’ve been looking for a good murmuration of starlings video for a month or two, but had never quite connected with the ones we’d found. And then we saw this one!

Two more informative links about the reasons and physics behind them, one with video. From Wired:

To watch the uncanny synchronization of a starling flock in flight is to wonder if the birds aren’t actually a single entity, governed by something beyond the usual rules of biology. New research suggests that’s true.

Mathematical analysis of flock dynamics show how each starling’s movement is influenced by every other starling, and vice versa. It doesn’t matter how large a flock is, or if two birds are on opposite sides. It’s as if every individual is connected to the same network.

That phenomenon is known as scale-free correlation, and transcends biology. The closest fit to equations describing starling flock patterns come from the literature of “criticality,” of crystal formation and avalanches — systems poised on the brink, capable of near-instantaneous transformation.

Related vids: more starlings and more swarms.

Thanks, @hilahil.

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