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"Two are better than one...for if they fall, one can raise the other."
- UNLIKELY FRIENDS
- In exchange for a free meal of leeches and food particles, the Egyptian plover bird cleans the African crocodile's gums and between its teeth.
- Ocellaris clownfish live among the tentacles of sea anemones, protecting the anemone from anemone-eating fish. In turn, the anemone's tentacles protect the clownfish from predators.
- In return for a sweet drink called honeydew, ants aggressively protect aphids from ladybird beetle predators.
- BACK SCRATCHING
- These animals are not acting selflessly. They each benefit from their partnership with an animal of a different species. In other words, it's a you-scratchmy-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours kind of relationship. Symbiosis is any relationship between two (or more) different organisms living together. Mutualism is a type of symbiotic relationship in which members of different species cooperate, as in the above examples, because there is mutual gain for each individual. By teaming up, animals can prov ide each other with food, protection, shelter, transportation, and even a cleaning.
- However, symbiotic relationships don't always benefit everyone involved. Ecologists describe five kinds of symbiotic relationships. As we said, mutualism is a relationship in which both species benefit. Parasitism is also a type of symbiosis, but in this case, one member of the relationship harms the other. In commensalism, one species gains while the other is unaffected. In competition, none of the species benefit. And neutralism is a relationship in which neither species is affected for help or harm.
- IN PURSUIT OF PEACE
- We each have relationships with lots of people—parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and even acquaintances we meet only briefly. We can choose to make those relationships positive peaceful ones, like mutualism, by helping others, giving to them, and appreciating them. On the other hand, it’s also possible to turn our relationships into negative ones, like parasitism, God forbid, by putting other people down. To live in peace requires loving others and doing good for them. As Hillel said, “Be among the students of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people, and bringing them closer to the Torah” (Pirkei Avot 1:12).