Leader Resource 2: Nature's Partnerships Key
Sea Anemone & Clown Fish
The sea anemone has poisonous tentacles which keep most fish away from it. The clown fish has special mucus that protects it from the poison. The clown fish lives by the sea anemone and is kept safe from larger fish. The clown fish chases away butterfly fish that like to eat the tips of the sea anemones tentacles. The clown fish gets a safe home and the sea anemone gets a guard.
Ostrich & Zebra
The ostrich has very good eyesight, but it has a terrible sense of hearing and smell. Zebras, on the other hand, have a strong sense of hearing and smell, but do not see as well. By staying near one another, each species can warn the other if a predator comes near. The ostrich and the zebra both get a warning when there is danger.
Honeybee & Flower
Honeybees collect pollen and nectar produced by flowers for food and energy. Pollen gets stuck on their fuzzy bodies. When they fly from flower to flower the pollen falls or rubs off onto a new flower. This pollinates the flowers and allows them to reproduce (create new flowers.) The honeybee gets food and flowers are able to reproduce.
Tree & Human
When humans breathe in, we breathe in oxygen, which is necessary for us to live and for our bodies to keep working. When we breathe out, we breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees need carbon dioxide to live and absorb it from the air through their leaves. They release the oxygen which humans (and all animals) need, back into the air. Trees and humans give each other the necessary chemicals we need to live.
Aphid & Ant
Aphids suck sap from plants and excrete a sweet waste called honeydew. Ants eat this honeydew. The ants protect the aphids from predators. Some species of ants will gather and store aphid eggs over the winter. When they hatch in the spring, the ants carry the aphids back to the plants they eat. Ants get food and the aphids get protection.
Barracuda & Cleaning Fish
The barracuda, which usually eats smaller fish, will swim to a coral reef in the ocean and move into an unusual position with its head up. When it does this, smaller fish called "cleaning fish" know that it wants to be cleaned and will not eat them. The cleaning fish eat ectoparasites and dead skin from the skin, mouth, and gills of the barracuda. The barracuda gets clean and the cleaning fish gets a good meal.
Shrimp & Goby
The shrimp digs a burrow in the sand and lives in it together with the goby. The shrimp is almost blind. The goby stays near the entrance to the burrow and warns the shrimp if there is any danger. If the shrimp wants to come out of the burrow, it touches the goby's tail with its antennae. If there is no danger, the goby wiggles its tail and the shrimp comes out. The goby gets a home and the shrimp learns when danger is present.
Crocodile & Plover Bird
The crocodile gets lots of food stuck in its teeth. When it wants to have its teeth cleaned it lies with its mouth open. The plover bird will hop right into the crocodile's mouth and eat the bits of food that are stuck. The plover bird gets food and the crocodile gets clean teeth.