Examples of Commensalism for a Better Understanding of the Concept
Cattle egrets are in symbiotic relationships with many animals. Egrets form symbiotic relationships with many different animals all over the world. Today they are. This is a cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis, and despite its name and similar their relationship with grazing animals is reflected in the cattle egret diet. Which kind of symbiosis is this? This is commensalism because only the Cattle Egrets are benefitting from the relationship. The horses, cows, and sheep are not .
This gives them protection from their predators, and also provides them a means of transportation over a larger area. Because of its small size and lack of sting, it does not harm the beetle in any way. Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed The Monarch butterfly is a well-known type of butterfly found commonly in the North American region. At the larval stage, it forms a commensal relationship with certain species of milkweeds. The milkweeds contain a poisonous chemical known as cardiac glycoside, which is harmful to almost all vertebrates.
The Monarch stores these poisonous chemicals in its body throughout its lifespan. When a bird eats a Monarch butterfly, it finds it distasteful, and gets sick. Thus, they avoid eating it. Birds Following Army Ants Many birds form a commensal relationship with some species of ants like the army ants.
A great number of army ants trail on the forest floor, and while moving, stir up many insects lying in their path. The birds follow these army ants and eat up the insects that try to escape from them. The birds benefit by catching their prey easily, while the army ants are totally unaffected.
Burdock Seeds on the Fur of Passing Animals Many plant species have adapted themselves by developing curved spines on their seeds or seedpods in order to disperse them over a larger area.
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The burdocks are a common type of weed that are mostly found along roadsides, and on barren land and fields. The burdock seeds have long, curved spines attached to them. They easily catch onto the fur of passing animals, which carry and drop off these seeds to other regions. Barnacles and Whales The barnacles are a type of crustaceans that are sedentary, i. At their larval stage, they stick to the bodies of other organisms like whales, and other places like shells, rocks, or even ships, and grow on their surface.
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While the whales are on the move, the barnacles catch hold of floating plankton and other food material using their feather-like feet. This way, they get the nutrition and transportation, and the whale is not harmed or benefited in any manner.
Emperor Shrimp and Sea Cucumbers Emperor shrimp is a small crustacean that is usually found in the Indo-Pacific region. It can be seen hitching a ride on sea cucumbers. These shrimp get protection as well as a mode of transportation to move about in larger areas in search of food, without spending any energy on their own. They get off from their host sea cucumber to feed, and get back on for a ride when they want to move to other areas.
Decorator Crabs and Sea Sponges Decorator crabs have undergone a very unique adaptation for concealing and camouflaging themselves. As the name suggests, the decorator crabs snip off material available in their surrounding environment, and decorate their shells. In forming a commensal relationship with the sea sponges, they carve out small pieces of sponges and camouflage themselves using them. This adaption of the decorator crab provides protection to it without harming or benefiting the sea sponges.
In urban situations, cattle egrets have also been viewed to forage in particular situations like railway lines Devasahayam, In a place where there are large number of animals present, cattle egrets make their forage selectively around species whose steps are taken at around steps per minute, avoiding faster and slower moving herds; in Africa, cattle egrets selectively forage behind Zebras, waterbuck and blue wildebeest Burger and Gochfeld, At the zoo, they eat mice, specialized bird, food and insects HHPZ, It is a shallow nest with an untidy bowl coupled with a foundation of robust sticks, showing an upper layer of smaller twigs or vines, and most times a soft lining of plant 10 materials.
Its measurement ranges about inches across and inches deep. Selection of the nest site is made by the male, which usually is in the top outer branches of a medium to tall tree or shrub in a swampy and marshy area Birdlife International, Kennin his work gave the information that their first breeding is usually at age years, they breed in colonies, usually joining colonies that has already been established by other herons and egrets despite the difference in their feeding habitat.
The male establishes its pairing territory in or near colony and displays to attract mate. The act of its display includes stretching of neck and raising plumes while moving from side to side. Nest site is in colony, either in trees or shrubs, often time in swamps or on island.
A study in Florida carried out by Maxwell and Kale, reported the fish crow and black rat as a means of possible nest raiders. This same study work gave the attribution to some nestling mortality to brown pelicans that nest around the vicinity which accidentally, but frequently, dislodged nests or caused nestlings to fall. Its clutch size varies from one to five eggs, although three or four is the most common.
The bluish pale white eggs are oval in shape and its measurement is 45mm x 53mm i.Cattle Egret "Bubulcus ibis" The Symbiotic Relationships with Cattle
Incubation period lasts for 23 days, with the male and female sharing their incubation duties Telfair and Raymond, The chicks are partly covered down at hatching, but do not have the capability to fend for themselves; they become capable of their temperature regulation at days and have a full grown feather in 21 days Hudson, Dawson and Hill, They leave their nest and climb at around 2 weeks, and they care for their young ones at 30 days and gain their independence at around the 45 th day Kushlan and Hancock, Their shallow nests are made in wetland areas in trees and bushes.
The male and female parents build the nest and incubate the eggs, with one brood per season being raised. The chicks are fed and cared for by their parents, by defending them at a close range for the first 10 days of their lives. They leave the nest at roughly 20 days old, with the learning process of flying at 30 days old and gaining full independence about 15 days later.
In some areas, egrets population can be moving and non-moving while in the northern hemisphere, movement of cattle egrets is from cooler areas to warmer areas, but cattle egrets roosting in Australia migrate to a cooler region in Tasmania and New Zealand in the winter and return during the spring Maddock, Young birds are known to disseminate up to 5, km from their breeding area.
Flocks may fly past distances and have been seen overseas and oceans in the middle of the Atlantic Arendt, They feed on insects and other invertebrates, most especially the ones that fly after being disturbed by large 12 mammals Sedikkoya et al. They also feed on ticks, flies and other ectoparasites that are seen on mammals Siegfried In the part of Africa, they forage alongside with cattle and large mammals by keeping a close distance with the animal, usually near its head HeatwoleKour and Sahi They also feed on ticks, flies and other ectoparasites that are found on mammals Siegfried In the part of Africa, they forage with cattle and large mammals by keeping a close distance with the animal, usually near its head HeatwoleKour and Sahi For the possibility of catching their prey, they must keep with their host, and they often switch their choice of animals when the speed of the host is no longer within their desirable range Burger and Gochfeld Wahungu, Mumia and Manoa in their report saying more herds of large mammals tend to get associated with more cattle egrets, probably because they flush more prey and provide more feeding opportunities.
Such groups of egrets can reduce the vigilance needed by the mammals, increasing the foraging rate for both species Seedikkoya et al. It lies in latitude N and longitude E. The University land mass covers a total land area of 10, hectares Akanmu, The site falls within the humid tropical lowland region with two distinct seasons. The longest wet season last for eight months, March to October and the shortest dry season for four months, November to February.
It has a mean annual rainfall of to mm.
The mean monthly temperature ranges between The study would be carried out at different habitats selected for the observations of Cattle egrets as well as its association with cattles are. The vegetation of the area comprises of grassland and swamp.
Ceremonial Road area extends from the University gate to the University general car park. The vegetation of the area is mainly grassland with sparse swampy and forest area. Data Sheet will be used to record observation on the field.
Camcorder will be used to record the bird and cattle to serve as back-up to the usual observation. Cattle egrets and cattles observed will be monitored and counted with and without aids of Binocular as appropriate. The number of Cattle egrets feeding around the front legs and back legs will be observed and recorded. Associated Cattle egrets with cattle will be determined by counting birds that are within 1meter to cattle and unassociated ones will be those more than 1meter away from the cattle.
The number of steps taken by cattle egrets before capturing of prey will be counted and numbers of the birds strike or capture attempt will be observed and recorded. The number of the bird feeding on ectoparasites will also be observed and recorded. Counting and observation will be done both in the morning and evening at hour of am and 4- 6pm respectively.
Visitation to the selected habitats will be done randomly to influence the time cattle herds are grazing in the habitat. In addition, collected data will be subjected to inferential statistical analysis using Regression, Correlation Objective one was achieved using Chi-square test Objective two was realized using descriptive statistical analysis, such as frequency, mean and tables.
Objective three was actualized using cross tabulation descriptive statistical analysis. Objective four was realized by subjecting collected data to correlation analysis and regression. Chi-square result showing relationship existing between different pairs of parameters Variables Value df Sig.
Examples of Commensalism for a Better Understanding of the Concept
The result reveals that a strong positive correlation exists between the following pairs of parameters: Also from the result, it is observed that a weak positive correlation exists between the following pairs of parameters: Correlation analysis result showing existing relationships among different observed parameters No of No of No No Feeding on No of cattle No of Altitude Cattle cattle associated unassociat Ectoparasit egrets at Cattle egrets within 1m ed more es front legs egrets at than 1m back legs No of Cattle egrets 1 No of cattle.
This was supported by study of Hockey, Dean and Ryan, in that Cattle egrets associates with livestock and other large mammals, perching on their backs to glean ectoparasites and hawk insects that disturbed by mammals when moving around. Significant observed between the grassland and Cattle egrets population was in agreement with the fact that Cattle egrets prefer grassland.
This was corroborated by Wahungu, Mumia, and Manoa study in that Cattle egrets were observed to feed efficiently in grasslands. Significant observed between Cattle egrets showing association within one meter was supported by Seedikkoya, Azzez and Shukkur research in that Cattle egrets associated within one meter with cattle. In contrast the significant of association of Cattle egrets unassociated more 28 than one meter contradicted the findings of Seedikkoya, Azzez and Shukkur research in that Cattle egrets associated within one meter with cattle.
Significant observed regarding the foraging position of cattle egrets usually near the front legs of the cattle was in accordance with Kour and Sahi work in that juvenile Cattle egrets foraged near the front legs. This finding was also supported by Seedikkoya, Azeez and Shukkur that generally Cattle egrets foraged near the front legs. In contrast, association of Cattle egrest foraging near back legs was observed in this study.
It was concluded that cattle egrets population showed great association in the three grasslands and it was also concluded that cattle egrets showed association within one meter and more than one meter to their host, cattle when foraging. Finally, it was concluded that there was association between the population of cattle egrets feeding at the front legs and back legs of the cattle.
Moreover, further research work should be carried out to find out if cattle egrets feed more at the front or back legs when foraging with cattle. Range Expansion of cattle egret Bubulcus ibis in the greater carribbean basin colonial water bird.
Accessed February 11, Accessed February 10, BirdLife International, Accessed December 31, Burnett, C. Field guide to Australian Birds. Ornis scandinallica Blackwell Publishing 24 3: Host selection as an adaptation to host-dependent foraging success in the Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis.
Their Nests and Eggs. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 90 1: Newsletter for Birdwatchers 49 5: The Auk 90 2: Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Found at 31 https: Wilson Bulletin 88 1: Some aspects of the association of Cattle Egrets with cattle. The Herons Handbook, Bloomsburry Publishing. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology part A: Accessed December 2, Hockey, P.
Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. Colonial Waterbirds Waterbird Society 17 1: Impacts of livestock grazing on savanna grassland in Kenya. Journal of Arid Land 4: Animal Behavior 57 3: Lives of North American Birds.