A herd is a large group of animals. The term is usually applied to mammals, particularly ungulates. Ungulates (meaning roughly "being Hoofed quot or "hoofed animal" are several groups of Mammals most of which use the tips of their toes usually Other terms are used for similar phenomena in other types of animal. For example, a large group of birds is usually called a flock (this may also refer to certain mammals as well) and a large group of carnivores is usually called a pack. The diverse order Carnivora (kɑrˈnɪvərə or sometimes /ˌkɑrnɪˈvɔərə/ from Latin carō (stem carn-) "flesh" + vorāre In addition, special collective nouns may be used for particular taxa: for example a flock of geese, if not in flight, is sometimes called a gaggle. In Linguistics, a collective noun is a word used to define a group of objects where "objects" can be People, Animals Inanimate things A gaggle is a term of venery for a Flock of Geese that isn't in flight in flight the group can be called a Skein. However, in theoretical discussions in behavioural ecology, the generic term "herd" is used for all these kinds of assemblage. A herd may also refer to one that tends and cares for such groups (i. e. shepherds tend to sheep, and goatherds tend to goats, etc. ).
When an association of animals (or, by extension, people) is described as a "herd", the implication is that the group tends to act together (for example, all moving in the same direction at a given time), but that this does not occur as a result of planning or co-ordination. Rather, each individual is choosing behaviour that corresponds to that of the majority of other members, possibly through imitation or possibly because all are responding to the same external circumstances. A herd can be contrasted with a co-ordinated group where individuals have distinct roles. Many human groupings, such as an army detachments or sports teams, show such co-ordination and differentiation of roles, but so do some animal groupings such as those of eusocial insects, which are co-ordinated through pheromones and other forms of animal communication. Eusociality ( Greek eu: "good" + "social" is a term used for the highest level of social organization in a hierarchical classification A pheromone (from Greek φέρω phero "to bear" + ‘ορμόνη " Hormone " is a Chemical that triggers a natural Animal communication is any Behaviour on the part of one Animal that has an effect on the current or future behaviour of another animal Conversely, some human groupings may behave more like herds.
The question of why animals group together is one of the most fundamental in sociobiology and behavioural ecology. Sociobiology is a neo-Darwinian and Socialism Synthesis of Scientific disciplines that attempts to explain Social behavior Behavioral ecology is the study of the ecological and evolutionary basis for Animal behavior, and the roles of behavior in enabling an animal to adapt to As noted above, the term "herd" is most commonly used of grazing animals such as ungulates, and in these cases it is believed that the strongest selective pressure leading to herding rather than a solitary existence is protection against predators. There is clearly a tradeoff involved, since on the one hand a predator may hesitate to attack a large group of animals, while on the other a large group offers an easily detected target. It is generally believed that the most important protective factor is risk dilution - even if a predator attacks the herd, the risk for any individual that it will be the victim is greatly reduced. In the case of predators, it is often unclear whether the term "herd" is appropriate, since there may be some degree of co-ordination or role differentiation in group hunting. Predator groups are commonly smaller than grazing groups, since although a pack may be more effective at pulling down prey than a single animal, the prey then has to be shared between all members, so that the weaker animals will often be better off hunting smaller prey on their own.
A herd is by definition relatively unstructured. However, there may be one or a few animals which tend to be imitated by the rest of the members of the herd more than others. An animal taking this role is called a "control animal", since its behaviour will predict that of the herd as a whole. It cannot be assumed, however, that the control animal is deliberately taking a leadership role. Control animals are not necessarily, or even usually, those that are socially dominant in conflict situations, though they frequently are. A dominance hierarchy (in humans Social hierarchy) is the organization of individuals in a group that occurs when competition of resources lead to aggression Group size is an important characterestic of the social environment of gregarious species. Many animals including humans tend to live in groups Herds flocks, bands packs, parties or colonies (hereafter groups of conspecific individuals
Domestic animal herds are assembled by humans for practicality in raising them and controlling them. Their behaviour may be quite different from that of wild herds of the same or related species, since both their composition (in terms of the distribution of age and sex within the herd) and their history (in terms of when and how the individuals joined the herd) are likely to be very different.
The term herd is also applied metaphorically to human beings in social psychology, with the concept of herd behaviour. Social psychology is the study of how people and groups interact Herd behaviour describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction However both the term and concepts that underlie its use are controversial.
The term has acquired a semi-technical usage in behavioral finance to describe the largest group of market investors or market speculators who tend to 'move with the market,' or 'follow the general market trend. Behavioral economics and behavioral finance are closely related fields which apply scientific research on human and social cognitive and emotional factors to better See Investor AB for the Swedish investment company An investor is any party that makes an Investment. Speculation, in a financial context is making an investment that increases the overall risk in a portfolio ' This is at least a plausible example of genuine herding, though according to some researchers it results from rational decisions through processes such as information cascade and rational expectations. In Game theory, an information cascade or informational cascade is a situation in which every subsequent actor based on the observations of others makes the same Rational expectations is an assumption used in many contemporary macroeconomic models, and also in other areas of contemporary Economics and Game theory Other researchers, however, ascribe it to non-rational process such as mimicry, fear and greed contagion. Biological mimicry occurs when a group of organisms the mimics, have "Contrarians" or contrarian investors are those who deliberately choose to invest or speculate counter to the "herd". In finance a contrarian is one who attempts to profit by investing in a manner that differs from the Conventional wisdom, when the consensus opinion appears to be wrong See Investor AB for the Swedish investment company An investor is any party that makes an Investment.