Symbiotic relationships are very important in nature and happen all around us. Symbiosis Leeches and Humans • Leeches are worms that suck blood from. micrograph reveals the morphology of a Taenia solium tapeworm scolex with its Human tapeworms can live for years in the small intestine. A tapeworm lives inside another animal, attaching itself to the host's gut and headlice - they bite other animals such as humans in order to feed off their blood .
The shrimp is almost blind leaving it vulnerable to predators when above ground. In case of danger the goby fish touches the shrimp with its tail to warn it. When that happens both the shrimp and goby fish quickly retract into the burrow. The burrs usually do not harm the cow, but the cow does not receive any benefit, either. The fleas suck blood from the skin of their host.
The fleas may cause blood loss, irritation and spread diseases over a period of time. After a period of time, the eggs hatch and the wasp larvae feed on the caterpillar from the inside out. The caterpillar eventually dies. The epiphytes receive a better location for collecting water and sunlight.
The larger plant does not benefit in anyway. They hunt prey that live in the treetops of the rainforest. Below is a larval mussel freshwater clam. If there is any case of "good" parasitism, this may be it. The little mussels go into the mouth and pass over the gills. Here, they clamp down by closing the shell and digging in with the little teeth pictured at the edge of the shell. The fish provides a meal and transport upstream moving is not something mussels do well over long distances, particularly upstream.
Lichens above and left are mutualistic associations between a fungus and an algae or cyanobacteria. They are the terrestrial equivalents in some ways of corals. The fungus provides a tough, waterproof body able to withstand extreme environments on rocks and tree trunks. It is good at obtaining water and secretes acids to dissolve minerals from the rocks. It also produces carbon dioxide. All of these materials are then funneled to the endosymbiotic algae or cyanobacteria, which use the materials in photosynthesis and produce sugars which are then shared with the fungus.
Some studies have shown that the fungus benefits from this relationship more so than the algae; at least under good conditions algae grown without the fungus grow faster then they do with the fungus. This wasp has stung and paralyzed a stink bug and is dragging it to its underground lair. Here it will deposit an egg and the larvae that hatches from the egg will eventually consume the bug.
Keeping the bug alive but paralyzed ensures it doesn't rot. The two lice to the right parasitize humans. The body louse above can attach to hairs of the body or head and then suck blood from the host. While it is relatively easy to remove the adults particularly if your hair is thinthe eggs are another story.
The eggs are called nits and are glued to the hairs, the careful search for these tiny eggs has given us the term "nitpicking".
The larger claws of the crab louse allow it to grasp the thicker pubic hairs. Overall, lice aren't the biggest health concenr humans face; on their own they do relatively little damage.
The diseases they can transmit, however, can cause devastating epidemics and many deaths. Fleas below are adapted to live in mammals with thicker hair.
Tapeworm and cow
The comb-like structures help them hang on. The mosquito above is a very temporary exoparasite; it probably shouldn't be counted as a symbiont so much as a predator. Not all situations are readily apparent. The mites on the bumblebee at left are in fact sucking fluids from it; mites have been implicated in the decline of our commercial honeybees. This is a clear case of ectoparasitism.
On the other hand, the mites in the image above left are merely hitching a ride on the Carrion Beetle. This beetle locates dead animals and flies to the carcasses to lay its eggs, which hatch and feed on maggots on the carcass.
A “Mutualistic” Relationship between Parasite and Human: sel by Allyson Panton on Prezi
The mites are interesting. Often, they feed on fly eggs and small maggots; this reduces competition for the carrion by the flies, and thus actually helps the beetles out a bit. The mites do NOT suck fluids from the beetle; they merely hitch a ride and thus make a trip they would not be able to make on their own. This hitchhiking is called phoresy, and as long as the phoretic animals are much smaller than their hosts - and there aren't too many of them - this would qualify as a commensal relationship.
If the mites help to reduce the maggot population and thus reduce competition for the beetle, they may actually be benefiting the beetle and thus move this relationship into mutualism. Right - A leafcutter ant tending fungus in its underground nest. The fungus is almost completely dependent on the ants.
The ants bring in nutrients bits of plant leavesprune the fungus back, transfer it to new bits of leaves and even to new ant nestsremove competing fungi, bring in only leaf bits from trees without chemicals which would hurt the fungus, etc. Perhaps most amazing is the fact that the ants enlist a second symbiont - bacteria of the genus Streptomyces that the ants grow in specially modified areas of their own exoskeletons.
The Streptomyces is then used to produce antibiotics that inhibit the growth of fungi which would compete with the fungi the ants are growing. There is a lot more to this mutualistic interaction; try this page built with pictures from our Costa Rica trips: We call these organisms Keystone species 1. Keystone predators may control key competitors at lower levels in the food chain, thus allowing other species to thrive.
Keystone mutualists may provide needed resources for a wide host of organisms example: Keystone competitors, if removed, allow one competitor to dominate, reducing diversity The Gopher Tortoise above and right is a classic example of a keystone mutualist. It excavates large burrows which may extend 10 meters or more, and which are almost 1 foot in diameter with some larger chambers as well, so the turtle can turn around. A number of other species including burrowing owls, gopher frogs, indigo snakes, and a number of invertebrates are highly dependent on these burrows; they often live in the burrow alongside the tortoise benefits to the tortoise of this arrangement are not clear.
Studies of the Purple Sea Star Pisaster ochraceus have shown it to be a keystone predator - it preys preferentially on species - such as certain mussels - which would otherwise outcompete all the other species trying to gain a foothold on the rocks.
By reducing the number of mussels, the sea stars open up habitat for other species and thus increase the overall diversity of the ecosystem note that the sea stars are a predator to the mussels, not a mutualist! The Red Mangrove, below, has long stilted roots that arch down to the water at the edge of tropical shores. These roots stabilize the soil, protect coastal areas from erosion, and provide hiding places for many animals, including the young of many coral reef fish.
Tapeworm and cow
In this way the Red Mangrove is a keystone mutualist like the Gopher Tortoise. The American Alligator, left, excavates depressions in its habitat that fill with water. During dry times, these gator holes may be the only places with water. Thus, to all the organisms whose survival depends on the water in those holes the alligator is a keystone mutualist. Of course, the gator might eat a few of those things that come to live in its wallow.
Beaver are well-known for building dams. Tapeworms are segmented flatworms that attach themselves to the insides of the intestines of animals such as cows, pigs, and humans. They get food by eating the host's partly digested food, depriving the host of nutrients.
Fleas harm their hosts, such as dogs, by biting their skin, sucking their blood, and causing them to itch. The fleas, in turn, get food and a warm home. Barnacles, which live on the bodies of whales, do not seriously harm their hosts, but they do itch and are annoying. Usually, although parasites harm their hosts, it is in the parasite's best interest not to kill the host, because it relies on the host's body and body functions, such as digestion or blood circulation, to live.
Some parasitic animals attack plants. Aphids are insects that eat the sap from the plants on which they live.