Plover bird and crocodile relationship

Crocodile and the Plover Bird – SmallScience

plover bird and crocodile relationship

Crocodile and the Plover Bird What do you think this courageous bird is doing in the crocodile's mouth? Why isn't the crocodile doing anything to her? This tiny. I'd have thought a mutual relationship of this kind would have been Labels: crocodile, crocodile bird, egyptian plover, mutualism, myths. The symbiotic relationship between the crocodile and the plover bird is exemplary of two organisms working together. The plover bird flies.

She flies in groups. When a pair lands after the flight, they greet each other by raising their wings in a way that shows the black and white marks on them. They greet each other regularly!

plover bird and crocodile relationship

They get into its mouth boldly, eat the food and fly away. Even when a Plover Bird is not around, his teeth still need to be cleaned! And a crocodile needs all this cleaning in spite of the following fact: A crocodile can grow new teeth through out his life.

Crocodile and Plover Bird by Emely Martinez on Prezi

Each time an old tooth falls out a new one will grow up to replace it! Crocodiles on the river Nile are the ones that benefit from their service. Nile crocodiles are the second largest in the world and are so ferocious that they can walk to areas much far from their water home to catch cattle prey. Can crocodiles communicate, like us? If you have gone through the article on Bats on this website, you may have read about the way we produce sound through vocal chords.

Crocodile and the Plover Bird

But crocodiles do not have a vocal chord! They have a voice box at the back of their throat through which they force air from their lungs to the nostrils.

plover bird and crocodile relationship

A young crocodile calls to the adult when he is in danger and also makes a lot of noise while being fed. Big crocodiles growl and hiss at each other.

Croc Blog: Crocodile myths #1 - the curious trochilus

Do plovers or indeed any other birds actually clean the teeth of crocodiles? However, there's more to this story than just a simple yes or no.

plover bird and crocodile relationship

First off, there's no evidence anywhere in photographs or film to show birds cleaning crocodile teeth or ripping leeches from their tongue with the exception of that particularly clever digital fake you see above; click on it for the full version and no published reports of it in peer-reviewed literature. I'd have thought a mutual relationship of this kind would have been easily observed by now.

plover bird and crocodile relationship

Secondly, contrary to popular belief crocodiles do not need their teeth cleaning. They regularly shed their teeth and replace them with new ones: Tooth decay, broken teeth and staining are never a permanent problem for a crocodile. Thirdly, food simply cannot get stuck between their teeth - they are too widely spaced for food particles to get jammed in there, and they are regularly washed with water every time the crocodile slides off the bank.

While bacteria and microscopic particles can indeed become prevalent around the base of the teeth, these are not problems that are going to be solved by the pecking of a bird large or small.

Egyptian plover

Leeches are another matter, and crocodiles certainly suffer from these insidious passengers. It's generally thought that gaping the mouth during the day helps a crocodile to dry its mouth and hence discourage leeches, but do birds also help out?

If they do, it hasn't been documented as such. So what's going on? Am I just a born skeptic? Perhaps I am, but that doesn't mean there isn't something in this compelling relationship. Birds of various species are often found feeding in close proximity to crocodiles, and immobile crocodiles basking on the bank in the sun are rarely if ever concerned about birds wandering between them, standing on their back, or straying close to their jaws.

Birds are opportunists too, and they will feed on flies and other insects on and around crocodiles.