Mutualistic pairs for an “Odd Couples” Valentine’s program at my work. (Why do so many of my big work projects revolve around Valentine’s programs?)
Also, by “sea bugs,” I obviously meant “gnathiid isopod larvae.”
The himan one is not as good as the rest
If you mean the mutualism between humans and honeyguides, I respectfully disagree. Human/honeyguide mutualism is one of the most sophisticated interspecies relationships in the animal kingdom.
While humans have domesticated many other animals for their labor, the honeyguide remains entirely wild while electing to partner up with humans. Both humans and honeyguides have each developed specific calls to signal to one another that they are on the hunt, and these calls greatly increase the likelihood of success. According to this paper:
The production of this sound increased the probability of being guided
by a honeyguide from about 33 to 66% and the overall probability of thus
finding a bees’ nest from 17 to 54%, as compared with other animal or
human sounds of similar amplitude.
That’s fucking bonkers, you guys!!! There are people out there who over the course of human history have created a sound to communicate with birds, and the birds themselves have a Human Call they use to communicate with us. There is no other wild animal you can just make noises at and immediately communicate that you want it to come help you!!!
What’s more, many scientists consider this relationship more exploitative on the honeyguide’s end than on our end! That’s unprecedented!! These birds have essentially negotiated a trade deal with humanity!!!! This is the stuff of fantasy movies, except it’s real.
Here’s an article from The Guardian about the broader implications of this kind of relationship with wild animals. It’s a good read:
Apart from with our gut bacteria, we humans don’t really have any
mutualistic relationships with other creatures. There is no special tune
that we can sing to magically attract nearby hedgehogs into our gardens
to feast on slugs. There will never be a special wink that fishermen
can offer otters, encouraging them to catch fish that we might then
de-bone for them, in return for some of the catch. The world is poorer
OKAY BUT the noise we make at honeyguides is one of my favorite noises there is, and if y’all haven’t heard the “BRRR-HM?” call that hunters use to summon honeyguides you are SERIOUSLY missing out.
There’s an audio clip on the Audobon Society’s article about them [link]
found @ 23 likes ON 2019-09-28 00:21:57 BY ME.ME