Symbiotic Relationships for Rhinos | Sciencing
The tickbird and the rhino share a mutualistic relationship because the rhino the tropical grassland and savanna is the relationship between the elephant and . Sep 22, POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA—After three rainy seasons together, a black rhinoceros and a parasite-eating tickbird are beginning to suspect. The rhinoceros and the oxpecker have a mutual symbiotic relationship. There are several well-known associations between birds and large mammals.
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? However, it is not clear if the oxpeckers even reduce tick loads.
- Rhino, Tickbird Stuck In Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship
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.
Oxpeckers and Rhinoceros - Syn Biosis
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.
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.
Rhinos & the Oxpecker Bird
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.
When one species harms the other, the symbiosis is parasitic. Rhinoceroses experience notable examples of both mutualistic and parasitic relationships.The Rhino Song
Their digestion depends on microflora in the gut, for example. Also, they attract insect parasites, which in turn attract birds who eat the insects. 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.