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Travel Butlers Trivia 5

Tracey Campbell - September 12, 2010

Symbiosis is the act of any 2 (or more) different species living and interacting together, and the African bush has many, many examples of how this works.

For example, a red oxpecker and a kudu have a mutually symbiotic relationship – meaning that both parties get a mutual benefit / positive reaction the relationship. So how can a bird and a mammal have this ? Quite simply, the red oxpecker will land on the kudu, and eat the annoying ticks. The oxpecker has a highly tuned ‘danger alert’ system, and will fly away immediately as soon as it senses danger – thus alerting the kudu to also flee.

dung-beetle1An elephant and a dung beetle have a commensalism symbiotic relationship. This means that one party benefits but the other part is totally unaffected by the relationship. In this case, the dung beetle feeds off the nourishment in the elephant’s dung … whereas the elephant doesn’t really care at all about what happens after he has passed the dung !

Finally, humans and mosquitos have a paracitic symbiotic relationship – which is when one party benefits and the other party suffers … I think you fully understand what I mean here !!

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