What do sharks 🦈, spider monkeys πŸ’ , tuna 🐟 and honey bees 🐝 have in common? They all use maths to find their food!

These 4 extremely different animals (and others) have been found to use the same patterns of movement when searching for their prey. These mathematical patterns, called β€˜Levy walks’, optimise the animals efficiency in finding their next meal and hence filling their bellies.πŸ‘…

Each step of their movement is chosen randomly and so is not affected by any steps that have already been made (like Dory 🐠 swimming with her short term memory loss). Some steps are more likely than others, however, (since they are picked from a heavy tailed distribution) and the larger the step distance, the longer it will take before the following step occurs ⏱. This results in lots of short steps as well as the occasional long journey. If a shark can’t find food for example, it might travel a long distance to an area like a coral reef and then take lots of small, random β€˜steps’ to look around for the tastiest fish to feast on 🦈.

This process can also model stock prices or even social media/general web browsing πŸ’».

#appliedmathematicsΒ #randomwalkΒ #brownianmotionΒ #animalmovementΒ #foragingΒ #sharksΒ #predatorsΒ #huntingΒ #mathsΒ #mathsinlifeΒ #stemΒ #scicomm

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