Mussels realize Weierstrassian Lévy walks as composite correlated random walks

Sci Rep. 2014 Mar 18;4:4409. doi: 10.1038/srep04409.


Composite correlated random walks (CCRW) have been posited as a potential replacement for Lévy walks and it has also been suggested that CCRWs have been mistaken for Lévy walks. Here I test an alternative, emerging hypothesis: namely that some organisms approximate Lévy walks as an innate CCRW. It is shown that the tri-modal CCRW found to describe accurately the movement patterns of mussels (Mytilus edulis) during spatial pattern formation in mussel beds can be regarded as being the first three levels in a hierarchy of nested movement patterns which if extended indefinitely would correspond to a Lévy walk whose characteristic (power-law) exponent is tuned to nearly minimize the time required to form patterned beds. The mussels realise this Lévy walk to good approximation across a biologically meaningful range of scales. This demonstrates that the CCRW not only describes mussel movement patterns, it explains them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Biological*
  • Mytilus edulis / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*