Certain species of frog and buffalo have a symbiotic relationship with one another. This means that they have a mutually beneficial co-existence.
While the word symbiotic may make you think of a certain goopy, black Spider-Man villain, it actually refers to a mutually beneficial relationship. Think of Tom Hardy’s character in Venom (in case you didn’t catch my incredibly subtle reference earlier).
How are a frog and buffalo symbiotic?
As i said before, to be symbiotic means to be mutually beneficial. In simpler terms, they help each other out.
As i also said before, certain species of frog and buffalo do just that, they help each other out. Native to northern Turkey, the marsh frog and Anatolian water buffalo have a symbiotic relationship.
The frogs cling to the buffalo’s shaggy backs and eat any flies they find there (a fair few!) They may also benefit from the body heat emitted from the buffalo which warms them up when it gets colder. We aren’t too certain what the buffalo gains other than a coat of fur less saturated with flies (always a plus).
This relationship is fascinating by nature when you consider how different these two creatures are, and yet they are still able to co-exist. And not just peacefully, they help each other! It’s even more remarkable when you factor in that this is the first recorded case of a mammal and amphibian being symbiotic – so cool!
Other symbiotic animals
This interesting example of symbiosis (fancy word for a symbiotic relationship between different species) begs the question : are there any others? The simple, yet exciting answer is yes! There are many, many documented examples of symbiosis so let’s run through some.
First off, we have the clownfish and it’s anemone home. Clownfish are one of the only creatures that aren’t stung by anemones. This means they can hide inside them for shelter and protection. In turn, they lure larger fish towards the peckish anemone.
An interesting example i was unaware of was zebras and, wait for it, ostriches. These two can often be found near each other for a very simple reason. Zebras have poor eyesight but an excellent sense of smell, ostriches are the opposite. This means that as a pair they are excellent at detecting predators. See no evil, smell no evil!
Now for an example involving my favourite animal, the crocodile. Crocodiles are symbiotic with plover birds. The birds land inside the crocodiles mouth, yes you read that right.
Once inside, they eat scraps of food from in between the crocodiles teeth before flying off. This gives them a easy, quick and tasty meal whilst also cleaning the crocodile’s teeth! The animal kingdom is truly perplexing sometimes. I mean, who wouldn’t expect the croc to immediately chow down on the unsuspecting bird. Despite this expectation, they seem to have an understanding of their need for their feathered dentist friends.
In general, symbiosis is fascinating and something i highly recommend going away and researching. I know i had a on of fun doing just that. And next time you feel like your hair or teeth are dirty, consider getting some frogs or birds to clean them!
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.