by Jackie Torija

Symbiosis Description

It is a close relationship between two species which live together. This is usually caused by the competition of resources. For example food and territory, To avoid this, one organism or both help, harm, or do neither to one another. There are three forms of this behavior. It is mutualism, parasitism, commensalism.


Mutualism is a symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship. Some examples below.

1. Oxpecker and a Rhinoceros or Zebra

- The oxpecker eats the parasites off the other animal. The oxpecker gets food and the rhino or zebra get rid of pests.

2. Bee and the Flower

The bee gets nectar from the flower and the flower gets pollinated through the movement of moving between flower to flower.

3. Spider Crab and the Algae

The spider crab lives in shallow areas, the algae gives camouflage from predators. The algae gets a place to call home. The crab feels safe away from predators.

4. Bacteria and a Human

The bacteria lives in the human's intestines. When the human eats it isn't able to digest the food fully, so the bacteria helps with the rest. The human gets help digesting food and the bacteria eats.

5. Dogs and Human

The dog gives companishion, love and protection. The human gives food and a place to call home.

Vocab Unit 11

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The relationship between the oxpecker and a rhino.


Parasitism is a symbiotic relationship in which one organism lives in or on another organism, which is the host, and consequently harms it. Some examples below.

1. Tapeworms and Cows

Tapeworms attach themselves to the intestines of cows. When a cow intakes food, the tapeworms deprive the host of nutrients it needs.

2. Fleas and Dogs

The flea attaches itself to the coat of a dog. Once that is done it sucks the blood of the animal, bites it, and causes it to itch. The flea in return gets a warm home.

3. Aphids and Plants

Aphids are insects that attack plants only to retrieve the sap that each contains.

4. Barnacles and Whales

The barnacles attach themselves to the body of whales. The whales in return get some small pain , itchiness, and annoyance from it.

5. Mosquitos and Humans

Mosquitoes land on humans to suck blood. The humans in return get slight pain and annoyance. Mosquitos can also transmit deadly diseases.

Vocab Unit 11

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The relationship between a mosquito and a human.


Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship in which one member of the association benefits and the other is neither helped nor harmed. Some examples below.

1. Remora and Sharks

The remora fish attaches itself to the side or top of the shark's body. It feeds of the leftovers of the shark's dinner.

2. Egrets and Hippos

The egrets eat the insects, which doesn't hurt the animal, off of the hippos bodies. the egrets get food from this process and the hippo is not disturbed.

3. Emperor Shrimp and Sea Cucumbers

The shrimp hitches a ride on the sea cucumber. The sea cucumber gives the shrimp protection and a form of transportation. The sea cucumber is not harmed.

4. Birds and Army Ants

The ants move as a group down in the forest floor, while this is happening insects in their path are revealed. The birds following closely get to eat food and the ants are not harmed in any way.

5. The Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed

The milkweed contains a poisonous chemical which the butterfly stores throughout its lifespan. When a bird moves in to eat the butterfly, it gets sick. The milkweed is neither harmed or affected.

Vocab Unit 11

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The relationship between a remora and a shark.