4 Animal Pairs Who Are All About Teamwork

Whether you’re a rhino, a human or a tiny fish, sometimes you just need a littleteamwork to get by.

There are countlessexamplesof different species helping each other out in the animal kingdom, achieving more than they ever could alone. This list, though, focuses onanimalswho have a longstanding agreement to cooperate for the greater benefitof both.

1. Sea anemones and hermit crabs

Hermit crabs and sea anemones have worked out a deal to help keep them both safe. The hermit crab will approacha sea anemone and give it a little pinch, making it release itself from wherever it previously calledhome. Then, the crab lifts up the sea anemone and allowsit to attach to its shell. Once there, they roam the ocean together.

Why do such a strange thing? The sea anemone’s barbed tentacles ward off any incoming predators that might be interested in the crab, and in exchange, the crab scares away any predators that might be coming for the sea anemone.

And there’s an added bonus: the sea anemone eats the crab’s leftovers as they come by. After all, why let it go to waste?

2. African oxpeckers and grazing animals

African oxpecker

Photo credit: Paul Godard

Oxpeckers, once thought to be in a completely symbiotic relationship with large, grazing animals on the African plains — like zebras, rhinos and buffalo — have a bit of an edge to them. While they do eat the parasites, including ticks, off of these larger animals, it seems that the birdsindulge insome blood as well.

Oxpeckersare widely tolerated, though — likely because they act as alarm systems, alerting larger animals of approachingdanger.

3. Goby fish and snapping shrimp

Goby and shrimp

Photo credit: Steve Childs

These two animals have an amazing arrangement. The snapping shrimp is a great builder — it burrows into the sea floor and makes a welcoming home, removing barriers and taking care of any repairs. One drawback, however, is that the shrimp isnearly blind, so it’slimited inprotecting itself while it works.

And this is where the goby fish offers its services. The fish keeps an eye out for danger while the shrimp works on the new home. Gobies alertthe shrimp by maintaining constant contact with the creature’santennae, and sometimes even hovering above them while they move rocks. In exchange, the fishgets to live in this nice little burrow with the shrimp.

4.Honeyguide birds and humans

Honeyguide

Photo credit: Derek Keats

Now here’sa relationship that involves humans — but there’s no training, caging, breeding or any other human-based reason for this companionship. Instead, the honeyguides are happy to work together with the humans.

First, hunters in Mozambique call to the birds, who are drawn in by a distinctive trilling sound. The birdsapproach, leading the humans to the honey, who then crack open the beehive. Once that’s done, the hunterscan accessthe honey, and the birds can eat the tasty grubs that theyotherwise couldn’t reach.

While these mutualistic relationships are fairly rare in the animal kingdom, now might be a good time to examinehow and why teamwork breeds success. Shouldn’t wetry to emulate this behavior?

Photo Credit: Derek Keats/Flickr

126 comments

Melania Padilla
Melania P2 months ago

Animals are so smart: humans just take advantage of them....

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Paola S
Paola S3 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE3 months ago

Wonderful. The honey bees need to have a little left for them, otherwise it is said, that the next time they will lead you to a snake.

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Maria P

Thanks for posting.

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David C
David C3 months ago

thanks

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Really awesome and loving Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

All so adorable and cute Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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S J
S J3 months ago

thank you

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S J
S J3 months ago

thank you

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