Mutualism Examples


Mutualism is a relationship between organisms from two different species in which both of the organisms benefit from the relationship. Both organisms use each other for a variety of reasons, which could include getting nutrients, protection, and other functions. Both animals in the relationship are called symbionts.

Examples of Mutualism:

The oxpecker is a bird that has a mutualistic relationship with a rhino or a zebra. The oxpecker will eat parasites off of the larger animal, which provides food for the bird and fewer parasites for the larger animal. The oxpecker will also make a shrill noise when there is danger.

The bumblebee has a mutualistic relationship with flowers. The bees are able to get nectar from the flowers, and this is used to make food for the bees. But, while the bees are moving from flower to flower, they are carrying pollen from the flowers on their bodies. So, they are helping to pollinate the flowers at the same time.

There are many kinds of bacteria that live in our intestines, and we have a mutualistic relationship with these bacteria. The bacteria help us to digest our food, and they get food in the process.

The yucca moth has a mutualistic relationship with the yucca plant. The moth helps to pollinate the plant, and then the moth lays her eggs in the seedpods of the yucca plant. This provides protection and then food for the larvae, who hatch and eat some of the yucca seeds.

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