A mutualistic relationship, that is, both species benefit. The bird gets food, and the crocodile gets its teeth cleaned.
The Egyptian plover hops right into the open mouth of the Nile crocodile to remove parasites. After the job is done, whether the crocodile is hungry or not the bird always leaves unharmed.
This symbiotic relationship is actually not proven to be factual at all.
The toothpick birdA classic example of symbiosis is the relationship between the fierce African crocodile and the small blackbird plover. It is truly a case of the mouse helping the lion, the relationship between the crocodile and the plover. As it happens, the tiny bird helps the crocodile by removing tiny morsels of food from in between the crocodile's teeth. And what does the bird do with the food thus picked? Eat them, of course. This two-way symbiotic relationship has resulted in a special bond between one of the fiercest creatures and a tiny little one.
Within an ecosystem, there are thousands of organisms that live in a constant relationship with their environment. Relationships also develop among them which can be positive or negative depending on the type of objective/need assumed by each one of them. A negative relationship (predation of parasitism) happens when one of the organisms gets the bigger share of the benefit in the relationship, that is to say, the association is destructive for one of its membersAnimal-animal relationships-The Egyptian Plover bird and the crocodile. You might think that if a bird landed in the mouth of a crocodile, the crocodile would eat itAnimal-plant relationships-Bees and flowers. You are all probably familiar with the idea that bees and flowers have some kind of relationship.Plant--plant relationships-Lichen. The first time you see lichen, you may be surprised that it is alive! It can be flat and not very obvious; it almost looks like a discoloration on a rock.Human-bacteria relationships-Your intestine and bacteria. You might wonder how you can have your very own symbiotic relationship going on right now and not know it.
Crocodiles are ambush hunters, waiting for fish or land animals to come close, then rushing out to attack. As cold-blooded predators, they have a very slow metabolism, and thus can survive long periods without food. Despite their appearance of being slow, crocodiles are top predators in their environment, and various species have been observed attacking and killing sharks. A famous exception is the Egyptian Plover which is said to enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the crocodile. According to unauthenticated reports, the plover feeds on parasites that infest the crocodile's mouth and the reptile will open its jaws and allow the bird to enter to clean out the mouth. Many large crocodilians swallow stones (called gastroliths or stomach stones) which may act as ballast to balance their body or assist in crushing food, similar to grit in birds.
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