Leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

Crocodile and the Plover Bird – SmallScience

leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

It depends, of course, on the particular epiphyte and the particular tree. While there is not necessarily any symbiotic relationship between epiphyte and host tree. The leech sucks blood and nutrients from the host, which harms the host, while the leech benefits. Usually Mutualism is a symbiotic relationship where both organisms benefit. Examples: Alligator and Egyptian Plover. The plovers aren't suicidal. The truth is, the relationship between the crocodile bird and the crocodile is symbiotic; each getting a benefit from being strange.

In this way, both are able to help each other! Let us get to know a little bit more about these creatures: A crocodile is a carnivore which means it eats all kinds of animals that live in the water and even cattle. They have strong jaws. They do not chew their food, just swallow the entire prey into their stomach where it is broken down. It is while swallowing that the bits of flesh get stuck in their teeth.

You will find them swimming just like this beneath the surface of water with their eyes and nostrils just above. Often you will find them lazing around in the sun with their mouth wide open. They have powerful jaw muscles and can keep their mouth open for a long time.

leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

Let us look at the Plover Bird closely. She lives in pairs or in small groups near water bodies, just like our crocodile does. She flies in groups. When a pair lands after the flight, they greet each other by raising their wings in a way that shows the black and white marks on them.

Cleaning symbiosis - Wikipedia

They greet each other regularly! They get into its mouth boldly, eat the food and fly away. Even when a Plover Bird is not around, his teeth still need to be cleaned! The tapeworm derives food and shelter from the human host; the human is denied the nutrition that is consumed by the tapeworm. In commensalism, one organism benefits from the relationship while the other is neither helped nor hurt.

If there are a lot of commensals on a single "host" then it stands to reason that the host will be hurt and the relationship will slide towards the parasitic Note: This latter definition makes many commensal relationships appear parasitic.

The photosynthetic zooxanthellae provide the coral with sugars in return for nitrogen and other nutrients from the coral. Obligate relationships - such as a human tapeworm in our gut - are considered "tight", while facultative ones - a squirrel living in a tree - are considered "loose". Some ecologists place the 3 types of relationships first, that is there are parasitic, commensalistic, and mutualistic relationships, and only the obligate ones in any of these 3 categories are called symbioses.

leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

Parasitism tight and loose: The Catalpa Worm above is being parasitized by tiny wasp larvae. The adult wasps right sting the caterpillar, injecting their eggs.

leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

The eggs hatch and devour the caterpillar from the inside, being careful not to disrupt any vital functions. Eventually they emerge and spin cocoons of silk in which they transition from larvae to adult.

Technically, these insects are parasitoids, since, unlike true parasites, they kill their hosts. Much looser parasitism is shown by ectoparasites, which feed from the outside. Mosquitoes below right of course suck blood only the females at that; they need the protein to make eggs. Oak Treehoppers below suck sugar-rich juices from the phloem of trees. Often these relationships are not species-specific; the mosquitoes would probably go after any other warm-blooded prey and the oak treehoppers pictured were in fact on a sycamore tree.

The squawroot left may look like a fungus, but it is actually a flowering plant. It is parasitic on trees, usually oaks, and gets its energy by tapping into the oak's roots. It betrays its true nature when it comes time to reproduce, however. I'm not sure about squawroot in particular, but other related plants are often self-pollinating and thus don't even need showy flowers to attract pollinators.

The squawroot is a distant relative of the magnolia. Many would argue that a flicker making its home in a cactus below left is a good example of commensalism.

leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

In a forest, such a relationship usually is commensalistic; the flicker below has excavated its nest in the dead wood of a living sycamore tree. To my eye, the desert bird has gone through some living tissue to make its nest. Still, the overall damage to the cactus is small.

The white-winged dove left has a mutualistic relationship with the Saguaro Cactus. The cactus provides food for the bird in the form of a large fruit. The bird consumes the fruit, also ingesting the cactus' seeds. The bird then flies off, and later deposits the seeds in a new location with a nice dose of fertilizer to boot! In this way, the cactus gets its seeds transported away from the parent plant, allowing it to potentially colonize new places.

This type of mutualism is known as a dispersive mutualism. The Cattle Egret below left is often seen in the company of grazing animals. The grazers stir up insects, which the egret then eats. This is probably a loose sort of commensalism; there is no apparent benefit to the cattle.

What Animal Cleans the Inside of an Alligator's Mouth? | Animals - avesisland.info

The commensalism is loose because the egrets will follow any cattle; in Florida, in fact, I have seen them following mowers. On the other hand, the oxpecker not pictured is a bird that rides around on the backs of cattle and other large animals such as rhinos. The oxpecker feeds on ectoparasites of the cattle such as ticks and warns the animals of approaching predators; thus both organisms benefit in a loose mutualism.

On the other hand, the oxpeckers also pick at scabs and wounds on the animals and may ingest bits of flesh and blood thus making them more like parasites. The natural world is complicated! Symbiosis in the seas: Some of the best examples of symbiosis are found in the oceans - not surprising since life has had longer to evolve and form close associations in the oceans. Above, the corals are perhaps the best example of a mutualistic symbiosis. Tiny coral animals which individually resemble this freshwater hydra form huge colonies, with each hydroid encased in stone secreted by the animals.

Collectively, these colonies can grow very large. Brain coral above right typically forms huge colonies; the dark "boulder" to the left of the picture immediately right is actually a colony of brain coral that may be thousands of years old the fish is 5 feet long.

Each hydroid in turn may harbor cells of photosynthetic algae usually dinoflagellates ; these algal endosymbionts are called zooxanthellae and give the coral its brown or green appearance. As mentioned above, the zooxanthellae "trade" sugars for nutrients; it's convenient that the wastes of the coral CO2, ammonia, etc.

Interestingly, both the corals and the zooxanthellae can survive without the other at least for a while ; under conditions of stress the corals are known to expel the endosymbionts in a phenomenon known as coral bleaching. Under happier times, the corals direct their growth to maximize sun exposure for their algal guests; you can see this clearly in the photo of the Elkhorn Coral above.

This jellyfish spends its time upside down in the shallows of mangrove swamps exposing its algal endosymbionts to the sun. Two other mutualistic symbioses found on the coral reef are pictured to the right, although they are not as tight as the endosymbioses of coral and zooxanthellae.

In the photo to the right, a barracuda takes an unusual heads-up posture. He has arrived at the large brain coral, which makes a conspicuous landmark seamark? When the barracuda takes this pose, the Cleaning Fish know it is safe for them to approach - the 'cuda is looking for a cleaning, not a meal.

The tiny fish will scour the skin, mouth and gills of the Barracuda, removing any ectoparasites they find and getting a good meal out of it.

What Animal Cleans the Inside of an Alligator's Mouth?

There was a line of about 6 barracuda waiting to get cleaned here; the others were behind me in the line. Finally, everyone who has seen "Finding Nemo" knows about the association between Clownfish and Anemones. By working its way carefully into the anemone, the clownfish gradually accustoms the anemone to the chemical makeup of the fish's skin; this gradual acclimatization prevents the anemone from stinging the clownfish while fish with a different "taste" will be stung and eaten.

The fish gets a safe house and some tidbits; the anemone gets cleaned and has the clownfish working as lures to bring in potential prey, or chasing away fish that would harm the anemone. Some scientists do not see any benefit for the anemone and classify this as a commensalism. The Sea Lamprey, above left, is a sort of temporary parasite.

It latches onto a fish and uses the teeth to hold on and rasp away the skin, leaving an open wound for the lamprey to feed on. It drops off, usually without killing the "host". Sea Lampreys are not specific on any species of fish; they will latch onto any living thing and try to feed. The wasp above has stung and paralyzed a spider.

It will take the spider to a nest and lay an egg on it. The larvae will consume the still-living spider; often from the inside. This is usually considered to be a parasitoid relationship. Two more mutualistic relationships from the Costa Rican forests. These algae help to camouflage the sloth against the lichen-covered tree note the brown fur of the baby, not yet covered with algae.

There is even a moth that lives only in the sloth's fur and consumes the algae; this is a commensal relationship between the moth and the sloth. Below, a mutualistic relationship. The Acacia Tree is partially protected by large thorns, but it gets extra protection from Acacia Ants.

The plant does 3 things to lure in the ants. First, the large thorns are hollow and provide a place for the ants to live. Second, the plants have swollen glands, nectaries, which produce a sugary solution the ants drink.

The nectaries are obvious in the photo below. In return for the room and board the ants chase off herbivores, kill and eat herbivorous insects, and destroy and plants that try to compete with the acacia. The horsehair worm starts life as an egg laid in a puddle. The puddle dries out and a grasshopper or similar insect comes along and eats the egg, which promptly hatches and burrows through the gut of the insect into its body cavity or hemolymph.

leech and alligator symbiotic relationship

Here, surrounded by the nutritious blood of the insect it grows until it reaches adulthood. At that point it starts producing chemicals which take over the brain of the insect and cause the insect to seek out water, which it jumps into.

The worm then exits the hopper and lives in the puddle, mating and laying more eggs. The grasshopper, if it doesn't drown, may survive the ordeal. Below, a social parasite.