What Is an Example of Mutualism Found in the Savannah?


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Heavy soils of termite mounds provide moisture to the jackalberry tree, while the tree roots provide protection for the termites from predators, whereas ants use the thorns on acacia trees as hives while protecting the trees from predators. Oxpeckers eat ticks from rhinos' and zebras' skins. These are only three of the numerous examples of mutualism found in savannahs.

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Organism dependence can be either helpful or harmful. Parasitism is a relationship in which one organism is harmed. A tick is a parasite. It feeds from a dog and harms the dog. Commensalism is a relationship in which one organism benefits while the other organism is neither helped nor harmed. Some bird species eat bugs off elephants' backs. The elephant is not affected while the bird gets its meal. Mutualism is a positive interaction between two living things that benefits both species.

Organisms in a mutualistic relationship evolve together. As they adapt to the environment they each develop features that benefit the other. The organisms generally live in close proximity, but they may live apart. The benefits obtained for both parties may be nutritional or defensive. Some relationships provide transportation or shelter. Mutualistic relationships may even assist with reproduction, such as in the case of pollination.

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