Hamilton’s selfish herd theory dictates that individuals will seek protection from
predation by locating to the center of a group in order to hide behind other members. This study focused on applying the selfish herd theory to shoaling behavior between habitats of varying complexity. Fathead minnows were placed either in a simple or complex environment and shoaling behavior was measured in response to the presence or absence of a predator. The results indicated that habitat complexity and predator presence/absence did not have a significant
effect on shoaling behavior. While the data were not significant the results did suggest that in complex environments shoaling behavior is independent of predation risk, which indicates individuals are seeking shelter similar to Hamilton’s selfish herd theory.