symbiosis

Showing 4 posts tagged symbiosis

For the last five years, Dr. Pim Bongaerts of University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute has been documenting the lives of corals through time-lapse photography. It all happens too slowly for the human eye, but capturing life in a coral reef over longer periods of time reveals much more about their growth, locomotion, and even their violent competition with each other. The video above is from BBC News: Underwater time-lapse shows secret life of a coral reef.

Plus some extra info from NOAA.gov:

So what exactly are corals?

Corals actually comprise an ancient and unique partnership, called symbiosis, that benefits both animal and plant life in the ocean. Corals are animals, though, because they do not make their own food, as plants do. Corals have tiny, tentacle-like arms that they use to capture their food from the water and sweep into their inscrutable mouths.

Any structure that we call a “coral” is, in fact, made up of hundreds to thousands of tiny coral creatures called polyps…

In the archives: more coral.

Thanks, Annie.

Updated video link.

In this episode of NOVA’s Gross ScienceAnna 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.

There are a few other video examples of symbiosis in the archives.

Watch a butterfly drink turtle tears from a Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtle (Podocnemis unifilis). Wait, what?

It’s true: butterflies and bees will drink turtle tears as a source of sodium and minerals. In turn, the turtles get their eyes cleaned. The video above was filmed in Peru by Ryan M. Bolton, photographer/videographer and trained conservation biologist. Farther below, there’s a photo in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park by conservation photographer Pete Oxford. Via LiveScience

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.


Related viewing: bees drinking turtle tears, and more amazing nature in the archives.

h/t Scinerds.