In instances where animals rely on another

In the animal kingdom, there are many instances where animals rely on another to survive. These types of interactions are called a symbiotic relationship or symbiosis. There are three major types of symbiotic relationship: commensalism, mutualism, and parasitism. Commensalism refers to one organism benefiting while the other organism gets nothing from the relationship. Mutualism refers to both organisms benefiting from the relationship. Parasitism refers to one organism (typically a parasite) benefiting from the interaction meanwhile, the other organism (referred to as a host) will be greatly harmed or even die. These types of relationships can be found from the vast land to the ocean that is never still, playing an important role in the everyday lives of all animals, including humans. A commonly seen example of a symbiotic relationship between a Manta Ray and a Remora. Typically, found residing around coral reefs or along continental shelves, the Manta Ray takes part in a mutualistic relationship with the Remora, also called the Suckerfish. The Remora clings to the ventral surface of the Manta Ray’s body using its modified dorsal fins that acts as a suction cup allowing it to save energy but creating skin abrasions and sores on the body of the Manta Ray. They will also enter the mouth of their host to find food and to escape from predators which can cause discomfort to the Manta Ray. There are 1-2 Remoras most commonly found clinging to a Manta Ray, but it is not uncommon to find as many as a dozen on an individual Manta Ray, though this may cause a reduction in swimming efficiency for it as well. This relationship is mutualistic so it is inevitable that the Manta Ray gets its share of benefits. In return for the free ride, Remora act as cleaners which takes care of the wellbeing of the Manta Ray. By eating the scraps of food floating in the water around the Manta Ray, they are able to prevent the development of any harmful organisms. They will also clean the body of the Manta Ray, getting rid of any annoying parasites attached to the Manta Ray’s body that could drastically affect the health of the Ray. The role that both organisms play in this symbiotic relationship determines whether the other will be able to survive or not. If one of the organisms from this relationship were to no longer exist then the survival rate of the other would have a drastic drop since they rely on each other so much. Therefore it is very important that both organisms exist together to maintain each others livelihood. As seen above, the Manta Ray and the Remora are a perfect example of a mutualistic relationship where both organisms especially rely on one another. Likewise, there are many more organisms around the world that share the same type of relationship or are even apart of one of the other types of symbiotic relationship. Whether they are on land or in the ocean, these organisms have a very important task in maintaining the lives of other.


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