By Josie May 23rd, 2023
Symbiotic relationships are crucial for the survival and thriving of species in the animal kingdom.
In mutualistic relationships, both species involved benefit from the interaction - each organism provides resources or services that the other needs.
Commensalism occurs when one organism benefits from the relationship, while the other is neither harmed nor benefited.
The parasite depends on the host for resources or habitat, often causing harm or damage in the process - i.e ticks and mammals.
One of the best-known examples of mutualism is the interaction between clownfish and anemone.
The anemone provides a safe home for the clownfish, while the clownfish protects the anemone from predators and parasites.
Oxpeckers feed on ticks and other parasites that live on these animals’ skin. In return, the animals are relieved of their parasites.
Cleaner shrimp are a crustacean that cleans other fish’s skin. They remove parasites and dead skin cells, which in turn helps the fish stay healthy.
The slow-moving lifestyle of the sloth allows algae to grow on their fur, providing a reliable source of food for the sloth.
Barnacles benefit from protection and a food supply due to their host’s movement through ocean currents.
Whales don't benefit - but they're not harmed.