Close encounters

via Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

By Jan Derk – Own work, Public Domain,

Can’t we all just get along? Where have you heard that before? You might have first heard the idea way back in 1877 when biologists discovered life forms that were dependent on each other. Organisms, otherwise completely separate and disparate, find mutual benefit from living together. They find a synergy in each other, and co-exist. Not just peacefully, but in aid of each other. This is a reciprocal partnership, a collegial collaboration, an interdependent alliance. These kinds of coaction fall into the category of mutualism.

Examples of such relationships are often fungi, like the ones that cling to a tree, but there are actually many typles of symbiosis. One that appeals is when the Labroides fish clean the ectoparasites off groupers and the like. They call it, not oddly, cleaning symbiosis.

There are also those relationships in which one benefits but the other is harmed. These are parasitic by definition. And there are relationships in which on entity benefits while the other is neither harmed nor helped.

Where the biologist left off, ecologists have taken over. The good news is that we are all connected.Our guts benefit from intestinal bacteria, and this, too, is a kind of biological symbiosis. Follow your gut, and get along with everybody.



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