In this episode of NOVA’s Gross Science, Anna Rothschild introduces us to the carnivorous fanged pitcher plant (Nepenthes Bicalcarata) that preys on unsuspecting insects, but has a special relationship with one particular species of ant: the Camponotus Schmitzi.
Turtle tears are not the only source of such salts for butterflies; the insects also readily get the salt from animal urine, muddy river banks, puddles, sweaty clothes and sweating people, said Geoff Gallice, a graduate student of entomology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, who has witnessed butterflies flocking to turtle tears in the western Amazon rain forest.
This region is lower in sodium than many places on Earth, because it is more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean, a prime source of salt, and is cut off from windblown mineral particles to the west by the Andes Mountains. Dust and minerals make their way into the Amazon from the east, sometimes all the way from north Africa. But much of this material is removed from the air by rain before it reaches the western Amazon, Torres said.
Symbiosis is the interdependence or cooperation of two species who rely on one another. In this video narrated by David Gonzales and animated by Sunni Brown, a symbiotic relationship is demonstrated between the Clark’s nutcracker and the whitebark pine.