What is Symbiosis? Explain with an example.

The term symbiosis refers to close and prolonged interaction between organisms of different species for the benefit of one or both organisms.

There different types of symbiosis based on the relation of benefit between organisms are:

• Commensalism

• Parasitism

• Mutualism

• Endosymbiosis and Ectosymbiosis

Commensalism is the mutual relationship where only one of the organisms gets benefits without harming the other organism during the relationship. It is a one-sided symbiotic relationship.

• Example: Relationship between remora fish and large fishes.

Remora fish attach to larger animals, like sharks, and whales with the help of disk present on their heads and moves with them. When the larger animals feed, the remora fish detaches itself to eat the extra food.

In parasitism type of relationship, one organism benefits from the relationship by harming or damaging the other organism. In this, one organism may live inside the other organism’s body or on its surface. In a few parasitic relationships, the host dies while in others, it is important that the host remain alive.

Example: Fleas and mosquitoes feed on blood from other organisms.

In this type of parasitic relationship, the host needs to stay alive and it is not damaged greatly.

Mutualism is a close relationship where both organisms get benefit from the relationship.

Example: Dogs and humans have enjoyed a mutualistic symbiosis for centuries.

The dogs supply protection and companionship and humans provide food and shelter.

Endosymbiosis and Ectosymbiosis Endosymbiosis is a type of symbiosis where one species lives inside another one. Example: Protozoans that live inside termites and help them digest wood.

Ectosymbiosis is a type of symbiosis where one species living on the surface of the other species. Example: Lice that feed on the skin, blood, or oil secretions of the host.


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