Best animal friendships in the world

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 in Size

© kaz2803 – flickr

A sweet relationship – The honey badger & the honey guide bird

The honey guide bird loves bee larvae but cannot break into a bee hive. So when it finds one, it searches for someone who can: a honey badger! The bird calls to its accomplice and leads it to the bee hive. The honey badger then happily rips open the hive and feasts on the honey, leaving plenty of bee larvae for the honey guide bird too.


© Ken@Okinawa – flickr

Best dive buddies – Penguin

It seems humans are not the only ones who like to dive together. Scientists have discovered that on dives deeper than 20 metres, penguins like to look out for each other too and often dive in large groups. One reason for such teaming up may be to help them avoid predators.


© norasilk – flickr

Best child care arrangement – Screech owl and blind snake

The small screech owl often swoops down and snatches a blind snake from the ground and takes it back to its nest. While that may appear a rude thing to do, it works out well for both of them. The owl feeds the snake on grubs. In return, while the owl is away, the snake scares away predators who would otherwise eat the owl’s chicks!


© DeusXFLorida – flickr

Best dental pals – The crocodile and the plover

When you have as many teeth as a crocodile - cleaning them yourself can be tricky. But for the plover bird providing such a dental service comes with the benefit of a free meal. Happy for the free dental care, crocodiles open their mouths and let the plovers hop inside and eat all the rotting flesh and harmful parasites stuck to the crocodile’s teeth.


© Clicksy – flickr

Best neighbours – The clown fish and the sea anemone

Sea anemones use their  venomous tentacles to stun fish. But the colourful clownfish is immune to the anemone’s venom. This makes them great neighbours as the clownfish lures dangerous predators into the anemone’s tentacles. These fish are duly stung and eaten by the annemone, while the plucky clown fish lives to swim another day.


©chadlewis76 – flickr

Best exclusive friendship – The aardvark & aardvark cucumber

The aardvark cucumber is a plant that grows its fruit underground.  And it has a remarkable symbiotic and exclusive relationship with the aardvark. When water is scarce, aardvarks dig them up and eat the juicy fruit and pulp. Then after answering the call of nature, they bury their seed-laden droppings - ensuring the plant’s survival.


© Lip Kee – flickr

Worst ever siblings – The hyena

When hyena cubs of the same sex are born - they are conditioned to try and kill each other. This behaviour is unique amongst carnivorous mammals in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately for the mother, she is too weak from a terribly arduous birth process to be able to prevent her offspring from fighting.

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