How to trace the behavior of a particular bee in a huge swarm, a bird in a flock, or a cod in a giant school? It is quite natural that human capabilities are not enough for this, since all the above-mentioned individuals practically do not differ from each other.
This seemingly insoluble problem was successfully solved by a group of Spanish researchers at the Neurobiological Research Institute in Madrid led by Professor Gonzalo García de Polovieja, who developed a unique computer program for identifying animals in large flocks.
For their experiments, scientists used several species of animals - mice, zebrafish, fruit flies and ants. To begin with, they filmed a school of aquarium fish, after which some of the frames, capturing individual individuals, were greatly enlarged so that each of them appeared as a set of dots-pixels.
This computer program has a high resolution, which allows you to simultaneously register many distinctive features, in contrast to the human eye, which captures any one feature. As a result of the resulting combination, a kind of barcode for each individual is created, which can later be unmistakably distinguished from a huge flock.
The program has aroused great interest among scientists in many countries of the world, but it needs serious revision. The fact is that all experiments were carried out in a laboratory under uniform illumination. In nature, where the intensity of light is constantly changing, it may not work.