Do You Know How These Animal Partnerships Work?
The plover bird eats from what animal's mouth?
- Egyptian Plover birds get right in the mouth of crocodiles to eat pieces of food from their teeth. This is how crocodiles keep their teeth clean and plover birds complete their diet! When crocodiles lay with their mouths open, it's an invitation.
Pilot fish help clean the teeth of what animal?
- Pilot fish swim around and clean the parasites and uneaten food from shark teeth. This companionship works both ways - the sharks help protect the fish from other predators.
Badgers work with what animal to catch prey?
- Badgers work with coyotes to capture prey. Since badgers dig and coyotes like to catch out in the open, sometimes the badger will cause prey to run above ground for the coyote and sometimes the coyote's presence causes animals to stay underground.
What does the hermit crab carry around?
- Hermit crabs pinch sea anemones, encouraging them to attach to the shells. This pairing allows the sea anemones to travel through the sea much faster, while the hermit crab gains some protection from predators during the journey!
Tarantulas sometimes share a home with what animal?
- The Colombian lesserblack tarantula and dotted humming frog work together, with the tarantula staying in the frog's burrow and the frog eating bugs that usually attack the tarantula's eggs.
The drongo bird keeps watch for what animal?
- The drongo bird works with meerkats, giving warning calls when predators are nearby. While fleeing, meerkats usually drop their own prey, providing a free meal to the drongo.
Anemones provide shelter for what fish?
- Anemones work with clownfish to benefit both parties. The anemones provide protection to the clownfish, whereas the clownfish feeds the anemone with its waste.
Grey wolves hunt with what animal?
- Grey wolves actually hunt with striped hyenas. Hyenas benefit from the hunting skills of the wolves, whereas the wolves benefit from the strong smell and teeth of hyenas.
Oxpecker birds clean the coat of what animal?
- Believe it or not, zebras love the oxpecker birds as they clean off the ticks and parasites that annoy zebras, providing themselves with a meal. The birds will also give warning calls to the zebras when danger is near.
What insect farms fungi?
- Ants have been farming fungi for centuries. They bring the fungi underground and feed it leaves, gaining their own food and protection in return. Sometimes, though not common, fungi does escape above ground and become free living.