Bizarre Animal Symbiotic Relationships

Simple definition of symbiosis is a type of relationship that with a physical contact between two organisms of different species is beneficial for both of them. There are many factors that cause this symbiotic relationship between animals which mainly involves following.

  • Cleanliness
  • Protection
  • Transportation
  • Finding food

Few of the bizarre animal symbiotic relationships are as follows.

African Oxpeckers:-

African Oxpeckers are known to stick on the mammalian hosts like Elephants, Zebras, Rhinos and oxen. They stick to eat the ticks off of these mammalian animals which give them the essential nutrients. These mammalian hosts do not ward them off as they are happy that they are being thoroughly cleaned from ticks and parasites on their bodies.

Oxpeckers have been reported to suck the blood out of the open wounds of their hosts as well. They do this to get the nutrients from within the blood making it the only Parasitic Bird in the world.

African Oxpeckers

Warthogs and Mongooses:-

Scientists discovered a strange relationship between Warthogs and Mongoose in the Elizabeth National Park located in Uganda. They observed that when a warthog sees a mongoose they would lay down. After that mongoose will start grooming the skin hairs of warthog and also eat the ticks and insects off from its skin. At sometime one or more mongooses will clean the warthog from these insects and ticks and if need be they even crawl all over the body of Warthog.

Warthogs and Mongooses

Crocodile and Plover:-

Crocodiles of Africa after eating a prey will get to a nice cozy river bank and open their mouth wide open to signal the Plover. The plover then picks off tiny bits of food from the huge reptile’s teeth. This symbiotic relationship great benefits crocodiles as the plovers pick p food it prevents the infection from the raw food. On the plus side they also pick off insect that crawl over the body of crocodiles as well.

In addition to thorough dental cleaning, if plover while cleaning crocodile’s mouth senses any danger, it shrieks which signals crocodiles to dash back into water.

Crocodile and Plover

Colombian Lesserblack Tarantula and Dotted Humming Frog:-

One of the strangest and most bizarre symbiotic relationships has been observed in between Dotted Humming Frog and Colombian Lesserblack Tarantula. Both of these creatures are found in South America. Even if tarantula can attack and eat the small frog it chooses to protect it instead.

Tarantula shares its burrow with frog to provide it protection while frog eats the insects that can attack the spider’s eggs.

Colombian Lesserblack Tarantula

People and Honeyguides:-

One final symbiotic relationship is in between humans and an African bird called Greater Honeyguides. Local tribesmen of Tanzania call out o these birds with a distinct call and these birds then lead humans to honey. Humans call out these birds with various whistles, shouts or even with some spoken words. These birds re not trained in any way to help humans they after just hearing the distinct call will let the people know about the nearby beehive.  After getting the honey, people leave some honeycomb for birds to eat. Scientists believe that this particular relationship between humans and Honeyguides is possible millions of years old.


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