Supplementary material from "Plant–animal worms round themselves up in circular mills on the beach"

Published on 2018-07-10T14:51:21Z (GMT) by
Collective motion is a fascinating and intensely studied manifestation of collective behaviour. Circular milling is an impressive example. It occurs in fish, processionary caterpillars and army ants, among others. Its adaptive significance, however, is not yet well understood. Recently, we demonstrated experimentally circular milling in the marine plant–animal worm <i>Symsagittifera roscoffensis</i>. We hypothesized that its function is to gather the worms and facilitate the dense films they form on the beach to promote the photosynthesis of their symbiotic algae. Here, we report for the first time the occurrence of <i>S. roscoffensis</i> circular mills in nature and show that it is by no means rare. The size and behaviour of circular mills in their natural environment is compatible with our earlier experimental results. This makes <i>S. roscoffensis</i> a good study system for understanding the proximate and ultimate mechanisms of circular milling.

Cite this collection

B. Sendova-Franks, Ana; R. Franks, Nigel; Worley, Alan (2018): Supplementary material from "Plant–animal worms round themselves up in circular mills on the beach". The Royal Society. Collection.