25 Things You Might Not Know About Rhinos | The International Rhino Foundation Blog
Some of these relationships benefit both the rhino and its symbiotic partner Oxpecker birds (Buphagus erythrorhynchus), also called tickbirds. It is ironic then that symbiotic mutualism -a relationship between erythrorhynchus), a smallish bird that feeds off ticks, flies, and maggots in the rhino's hide as a sensible guide to organizational change (e.g. Levitt & March . The relationship between rhinoceroses and oxpeckers IS mutualism but there is They think this because the birds annoy the rhino and they feed off the rhino's blood also, The Oxpeckers do, in fact, get food from the ticks on the rhinos. Excellent advice when preparing any finance presentation.
Relationships between species that do not benefit both members, but do not harm either one, are commensal.
Rhinos & the Oxpecker Bird
When one species harms the other, the symbiosis is parasitic. Rhinoceroses experience notable examples of both mutualistic and parasitic relationships. Their digestion depends on microflora in the gut, for example.
Also, they attract insect parasites, which in turn attract birds who eat the insects. The rhinoceros enjoys relief from the insects, while the birds enjoy a meal, but the relationships are not always so clear-cut.
Mutualistic Relationships in a Rhino's Gut Rhinoceroses are ungulates: They eat tough plant matter but are not able to digest the cellulose their food contains.
They rely on microflora that are able to digest this material, releasing nutrients like fatty acids that the host animal can absorb and use for energy — an example of mutualism. The hosts don't ruminate like cattle; the microflora work in the host's hindgut.
Rhinos and Oxpeckers by Beth Schwarz on Prezi
This is where the oxpecker, or tickbird, can be a big help. Kifaru is also very shortsighted and has a hard time seeing enemies if they approach, but the oxpecker on Kifaru's back can, and provides some warning by hissing and screaming.
Because the rhino can survive without the tickbird, Kifaru is a facultative partner in this mutualistic relationship. Askari wa Kifaru The little oxpecker "askari wa kifaru" or "the rhino's guard" in Swahili "cleans" the rhino by plucking ticks from Kifaru's skin, but does so selectively; he prefers big, fat ticks that are already engorged with blood, ignoring the little ones that irritate Kifaru just as badly.
The oxpecker also searches any wounds or sores Kifaru may have and removes botfly larvae and other parasites, but in the process he also removes scabs and tissue, causing fresh bleeding.
In fact, the oxpecker gets his blood meals as much directly from Kifaru himself as from the parasites he removes. This makes the tickbird the obligate partner, almost a parasite himself.
He needs Kifaru with his parasite burden as a primary, if not a sole, food source. A Better Partner The oxpecker is not the only partner Kifaru has in mutualism. White birds larger that the tickbird follow the rhino, feeding on insects and small animals Kifaru disturbs as he passes.
They sometimes even ride on his back. These are cattle egrets Bubulcus ibisand like the tickbird, they follow many large mammals to profit from their passage.