Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Terrific Teamwork: How Animals Help Each Other

Gila Zemmel

Summer’s the time for team games, team races, team sports, and all the double and triple fun that working and playing with a team brings along. But did you know that there are different animals that team up to help each other, too? Let’s find out more ...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Teaming Up

Whether it’s food, shelter, protection, transportation, or even the cleaning, every animal has needs, some of which it can’t take care of itself. Then what happens? That’s when teamwork comes into play. Hashem pairs up animals so that each can supply what the other needs. The relationship between these animals is called symbiosis, which means living together, from the ancient Greek words syn (together) and bios (life). Because each animal benefits the other, they are said to be mutually symbiotic.

 

Open Wide!

Sitting in a crocodile’s mouth doesn’t seem like the safest thing to do, but the plover bird doesn’t get frightened. He hops inside and pecks out the bits of food stuck on the croc’s teeth, which would otherwise cause decay. The crocodile has no way of cleaning its teeth by itself, so he patiently waits for his feathered dentist to finish the job. The plover gets a good meal, and the crocodile gets free dentistry.

 

All Eyes and Ears

If you’ve been to the zoo, you have probably seen zebras and ostriches living in the same enclosure. In the wild, ostriches often travel with zebra herds. Since both are vulnerable to attack, they need to be able to detect when a predator is nearby. But they each have a problem — the ostrich can’t smell or hear well, and the zebra has poor eyesight. By staying close together, each animal compensates for the other’s deficiency and helps it stay safe.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you