Symbiosis/Mutualism

Post your favorite instances of friendly symbiotic/mutualistic animal/plant/organism relationships.

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    vegana and dick

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous
    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      so true!

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Gobies and Pistol Shrimp are the eternal duo…

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Ravens making calls around prey animals to attract wolves so when they make a kill they can eat the leftovers

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I knew those frickers couldn’t be trusted…

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Coyotes and badgers will hunt prairie dogs together since they cover each other's weakness
    >If prairie dogs hide in their burrows, a badger can dig them out
    >If they make a run for it, a coyote can chase them down
    Only thing is they don't share the spoils, it's more of a "who caught it, eats it" type of deal

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >it's more of a "who caught it, eats it" type of deal
      Lmao, seems like the coyote would come away with the spoils more often than not

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The most iconic duo

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Damn what do these do

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Frog eats little bugs to protect the eggs/babies, tarantula eats the creatures that would eat the frog.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Damn what do these do

          it's also worth noting that it's definitely a deliberate action on the tarantula's part, as they will otherwise eat frogs of that size

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    The gut baceria and you

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Isn’t it gut flora?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      t. bacterium

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Isn’t parasitism technically a type of ‘mutualism’ too?

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      The definition of parasitism is controversial, or at the very least extremely situational. Many mutualistic interactions turn parasitic and vice-versa, but it's not easy at all defining at which point the turn happens. Some have tried a "mathematical" approach, the more or less most accepted definition, in which parasites reduce the host's fitness (whose own definition I shouldn't dare giving without checking some book first, but I'd say is more or less how well such living being performs in terms of all the biological functions, mainly reproduction), while increasing their own.

      But imagine the following scenario: a species very clearly steals some resource from its host's body, yet doesn't reduce the latter's fitness in terms of reproduction or survivability. Is it just commensalism then? Such exact interaction has been recorded between sponges and invertebrates who seemingly eat the sponge yet the latter doesn't seem to mind at all. How about digestible fruits, which consume an absurd amount of resources from the plant, only for them to be eaten by an herbivore? You could look at this as a classic case of herbivory (that could fit both as parasitism or predation, something I'll expand upon later), and yet the seemingly parasitic interaction results in the plant's reproduction. I usually prefer the simpler definition that's broad enough to be generally used while also a funny thought experiment: "parasitism is predation with a number of preys lower than 1". It has been defined on some book out there whose source I no longer recall, but it also doesn't properly fit mosquitoes as parasites (which are usually called micropredators for acting as predators, but not killing the entire prey).

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Interesting. Very fascinating
        > but it also doesn't properly fit mosquitoes as parasites (which are usually called micropredators for acting as predators, but not killing the entire prey).
        I didn’t know this. I guess it would make sense though.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Symbiosis just means two organisms living in close association with one another. Mutualism and parasitism are both forms of symbiosis. People often associate symbiosis with something positive, when that isn't always the case
      Mutualism is when two species benefit from the interaction. Obligate mutualism is when two species depend on one another
      Parasitism is when only one benefits but doesn't kill the other (otherwise it's predation)

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    what the frick? crocs take care of baby turtles? aren’t they normally a prime menu item if they come across them??

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      cannibalism is pretty common, because only mammals get prions

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    boxer crabs are not really mutualistic, its very much in favor of the crab

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  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm completely obsessed with lichen. Tons of cool research being done today around the biology of the symbiosis.
    >essentially coral on land; photosynthesizing algae or bacteria produce food and the fungus provides a suitable home
    >all fungi are heterotrophs but often overgrow and kill their autotroph energy supplies; otoh lichen fungi grow slowly and in a uniquely exposed manner for fungi
    >algae are related to but distinct from free living algae; evolved in tandem with fungi to form stable relationships
    >their exposed habit endangers the algae to death by uv or herbivory; the fungi help by producing pigments and phenolic compounds (mainly a unique class of chemicals called depsides) to block uv and limit herbivory and decomposers
    >protein degradation due to desiccation is also mediated by compounds stored by the fungi; this is seemingly REQUIRED for a stable, long living symbiosis so lichen are universally very slow growing; Umbilicaria spp. might be hundreds of years old and grow fractions of a mm per year
    >found in antarctica and deserts; the partnership is so successful they are dominant where other life forms can't survive
    It's a small enough field that keeping up with research is easy for an amatuer like me, and looking for them while hiking is a joy.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      infinite money glitch basically?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Basically lol just takes years to pay off. They're very pollution intolerant so if someone builds a town by you you might lose it all.

        I think it's cool too,few years ago collected several handfuls of the stuff and put it on a boulder.
        Eventually some took hold and it's growing.

        That's very cool. Attempts at cultivating lichen are almost always unsuccessful. If you had take before/after pics that would've been super interesting.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          I didn't take any pics and a kinda sad about that.
          Maybe I'll try again in a different place this spring. 🙂

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      I think it's cool too,few years ago collected several handfuls of the stuff and put it on a boulder.
      Eventually some took hold and it's growing.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Literally never heard of this. Fungus is pretty cool.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      are related to but distinct from free living algae; evolved in tandem with fungi to form stable relationships
      If I remember right lichen either reproduce by spores wich spreads only the myco-biont or by special structures through which both myco and photo-byont are spread. That these algae have diverged significantly from their free-living relatives makes a lot of sense.
      in antarctica and deserts; the partnership is so successful they are dominant where other life forms can't survive
      Not only in extreme environments but also in primary succession of ecosystems. Being pioneer organisms they can break down minerals into more useful forms for plants (land algae). I wonder if they evolved even before plants did and helped "prepare" terrestrial ecosystems for them.

      Mind I ask if you got any book recs concerning fungi? I'm making a list and I've got five entries so far.

      I think it's cool too,few years ago collected several handfuls of the stuff and put it on a boulder.
      Eventually some took hold and it's growing.

      Must have taken a few years for them to spread? Lichen if enduring do seem rather slow to grow.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Must have taken a few years for them to spread?
        Well I've been living at this house for 16 years, so they were 'transplanted' about 14 years ago.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I like the pistol shrimp and gobi fish. Very cozy arrangement they have.

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