The Idea of Mutualism Between Animals

Categories: Animals

In a perfect world, people and animals would work together, however, unfortunately isn’t true but there are a couple of practices where animals work together. Exemplified by aphids and ants, one idea of this is called mutualism- where two organisms live together and both receive benefits to each other’s presence. With ants and aphids, they both help each other as the aphids feed the ants by their production of honeydew which is left behind. With this, the ants protect the aphids from predators and parasites as they take great care of them as sometimes they cannot remove their waste on their own.

Another example is with tiny photosynthesis called cyanobacteria and algae. The cyanobacteria provides nitrogen to the algae and in return, receives carbon to complete photosynthesis. In an opposite idea, one organism would not benefit from the other and while one receives something positive, the other receives something negative- also called parasitism.

In one example of this, a flatworm would embed itself into a tadpole.

While embedded in the tadpole, it digs itself into the tissue of the tadpole’s future legs. The parasite is able to distribute its larvae while the frog gets nothing but legs, negatively affecting the ability to move from predators quickly. Another example of parasitism is mosquitos as they actively seek to feed on the human blood for feeding. In return, the human usually gets irritation or sometimes diseases. In between these ideas, there is another symbiotic relationship called commensalism where one benefits however, the other does not receive a benefit or negative effect towards it.

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One example is between anemones and clownfish as the clownfish develop a tolerance to the stinging abilities of the anemone. With this, the clownfish are able to harbor into a safe spot, hidden from predators. The last example is cattle egrets and livestock where the cattle egrets often travel with herds of cattle. The cattle egrets eat the insects that are typically hiding in the vegetation and thus, no effect is put on the livestock while the cattle egrets are fed.

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The Idea of Mutualism Between Animals. (2022, Jul 12). Retrieved from

The Idea of Mutualism Between Animals
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