Rhinos & the Oxpecker Bird | Animals - balamut.info
The black rhino is a massive animal that weighs between and the black rhino does share a symbiotic relationship with another species. Mutualism is the symbiotic relationship in which both species benefit from the relationship. The tickbird and the rhino share a mutualistic relationship because. One example of a mutualistic relationship is that of the oxpecker (a kind of bird) and the rhinoceros or zebra. Oxpeckers land on rhinos or zebras and eat ticks.
Rhinoceroses experience notable examples of both mutualistic and parasitic relationships.The Oxpeckers role in the Animal Kingdom
Their digestion depends on microflora in the gut, for example. Also, they attract insect parasites, which in turn attract birds who eat the insects.
Well-Meaning Gentlemen With Different Ideas: Rhino and Tickbird in Dead-End Relationship
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.
Rhinos & the Oxpecker Bird
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. 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.
Rhino, Tickbird Stuck In Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship
Furthermore, Weeks suggests in Weeks that there may not be a clear-cut description of the relationship between the oxpecker and its host mammals. The oxpeckers may behave differently, depending on factors such as the time of year or the species of host mammal. Meanwhile, somewhere in South Africa: The rhino said that he often feels like a victim of her nitpicking.