When you can't do something by yourself, try to find a helping hand. Some animals are just too smart to miss the opportunity of getting all the benefits of the symbiotic relationship. What one cannot do, the other one can, and that is how this particular connection works. Sometimes, only one animal has benefits, but it’s not doing harm to another, which is also a reasonable relation, don't you think?
Help Me Get Rid of the Bugs!
Have you ever seen a big African Buffalo with a bird on his back? That is a picture one can often see, and many of us are thinking how such a big animal is not able to chase this lightweight enemy? Well, the answer is simple. Buffalo doesn't want to get rid of birds as they are helping him to stay clean of parasites. In the meanwhile, birds can eat as much as they like. That is how these animals live in strange symbiosis.
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Time for a Party
Maybe, when you see this big African warthog with many African mongooses around, you might think they are making a real trouble. But you would probably be mistaken. These little mongooses are quite friendly, as they have a great time and a lot of food. The big warthog can thank them for saving him from parasites whenever they are close.
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New Brotherhood Was Born
It is not common for hyenas to hunt with other animals, but a new research shows fascinating symbiotic relationships of these animals with gray wolves. Can you imagine how it looks when you connect mighty hunters as wolves with flexible hyenas that have a strong sense of smell? Together, these animals are an impressive team. While hyenas are looking for potential preys, wolves are hunting them, hyenas are breaking their large bones, and they all have a great feast.
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What will you think if you meet a herd of zebras beside many ostriches somewhere in Tanzania? Maybe, you will believe that they somehow got close for a short time. But if you try to follow them for a few days, you will realize they are not separated. Simply, they like to stay in mixed company because they live in symbiosis. The fantastic eyesight of ostriches and incredible sense of hearing and smell of zebras are the best combination for surviving in the wild.
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A Personal Dentist
For crocodiles, there is no need to hire a dentist to make their teeth clean. It would be enough for them to open their jaws and cute little plovers would run to give a helping hand. Can you believe that crocodiles are so reasonably patient while birds are jumping over their tongue? Well, that is because they know this game will help them to clean all food remains from their mouth, while plovers will enjoy a plenty of food.
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Reaching a Goal Is the Easy Way
For honey guides, it is hard to get to the honey while bees are inside. This is why they are always looking for friends to help them and lead Ratels directly to the hive. Once the Ratels destroy the beehive and open it, it is easy for guides to use the remains from the ground. Just like they are leading other animals to their goal, sometimes they do the same with people. The cooperation is the most important in this cruel world.
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There is nothing wrong with helping yourself while following other animals. Cattle Egrets are not doing good for livestock, but neither they are doing anything wrong. They are just following the big animals while they are moving through the grass. Every time big cattle pass through the lawn, some insects don't survive and they become a banquet for egrets. In this way, birds are using the advantages of one-way symbiosis.
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The Sound of Woodpecker
Woodpeckers and tree ants are not friends; they are enemies. But sometimes, even among the biggest opponents, there is a time of truce. There is a species of woodpeckers called Southern Rufous, and this one is ready to negotiate. Somehow, during the nesting time, a woodpecker uses the ants' nests to lay eggs, and both of the species are protecting the place. Nature has wonderful solutions.
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Meat Ants Are Ready to Cooperate
Most of the time, meat ants like to team up with leaf hoppers. It is hard to make friends with meat ants, but leaf hoppers are lucky because they can produce substances which are tasteful and ants like eating them. Just because of that, leaf hoppers have the privilege to be a partner protected from predators and have a friendly status.
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Have We Already Told You a Story of Meat Ants?
Well, some animals are just more friendly than others. Caterpillars also enjoy the protection of the army consisted of meat ants. This is not only because their substances are suitable for feeding, but because they are also sticky and useful as a valuable material in nest-building. As long as these guys are good juice producers, they will have a helping hand to survive in the wildness.
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