Rhinos and Oxpeckers by Beth Schwarz on Prezi
Ask John Mackay | Creation Questions & Answers First of all let's look at the relationship between rhinos and birds. The birds referred to are oxpeckers, and they do eat ticks on the skin of rhinos. They also do the same for. Taking part in mutual relationships is beneficial for both individuals. is that of the bloodthirsty birds known as oxpeckers and their large mammalian hosts. A rhino's skin is particularly sensitive therefore ticks and parasites can prove Click here to visit our frequently asked questions about HTML5 video. Rhino, Tickbird Stuck In Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship and crocodile, who " never seem to have the problems we do," the rhino said.
The rhinoceros enjoys relief from the insects, while the birds enjoy a meal, but the relationships are not always so clear-cut.
Mutualistic Relationships in a Rhino's Gut Rhinoceroses are ungulates: They eat tough plant matter but are not able to digest the cellulose their food contains. They rely on microflora that are able to digest this material, releasing nutrients like fatty acids that the host animal can absorb and use for energy — an example of mutualism.
The hosts don't ruminate like cattle; the microflora work in the host's hindgut. Studies of white rhino dung show bacteria of the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominating the microflora living in the rhino gut, along with many other unclassified bacteria. A Symbiotic, but Parasitic, Relationship in a Rhino's Gut The rhinoceros bot fly Gyrostigma rhinocerontis lives exclusively in the digestive tracts of both white and black rhinoceroses.
The adults, which are the largest flies in Africa, lay their eggs on the skin of rhinos, and the larvae burrow into the rhino's stomach, where they attach and live through larval stages called "instars. Then they have only a few days to find another rhinoceros host.
Rhino, Tickbird Stuck In Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship
This symbiotic relationship has no benefit to the rhino hosts, while the flies are "obligate parasites," which means they're dependent on the rhinos — they can't complete their life cycle without them.
The oxpecker enjoys a guaranteed source of food, while the host mammal is rid of parasites.
According to Wikipediathis is a symbiotic relationship! We trust Wikipedia, right?
biosystems: Mutualistic Symbiosis:
However, it is not clear if the oxpeckers even reduce tick loads. More after the jump. Some studies have been done on this issue, with varying results.
The birds significantly reduced tick loads over a period of 7 days. Weeks observed two groups of oxen, one of which did not have contact with oxpeckers.
It was found that preventing oxpeckers from foraging on oxen did not change tick loads. Studies also found that the oxpeckers can cause adverse effects on the host mammals.
Rhino, Tickbird Stuck In Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship | Blogging about animal behaviour ()
Weeks found that the group of oxen with oxpeckers had more wounds and larger wounds, as compared to those which did not. Also, a higher proportion of wounds were persistent or recurring in the former group.
The rhinos were intolerant of the presence of oxpeckers at their wounds, but were usually not successful at chasing the oxpeckers away. Furthermore, Weeks suggests in Weeks that there may not be a clear-cut description of the relationship between the oxpecker and its host mammals.