Commensalism


Commensalism is a type of interaction that occurs in biology and consists of one of the parties obtaining some benefit while the other does not, however it is not harmed. This expression comes from the Latin “com mensa” and means “sharing a table”. Originally this ending was used to describe waste food that was used by the second animal, such as scavenging birds that eat what game animals leave behind.

A clear example of this term is the link that lions establish with certain birds such as scavengers, since being in the same area they can take advantage of feeding on the remains of animals that are killed by cats, since these birds do not they know how to hunt

Another type of commensalism relationship is the one that exists between sharks and remoras, these are a species of fish that have a suction cup that allows them to adhere to the bodies of sharks without them noticing, with the aim of feeding on the food scraps they leave behind.

In nature and more so in the animal world there are many of these cases, such as that of the field mice that live in a burrow and inside them there are insects that eat the roots that are there, as well as the remains that these rodents eat, this is a type of commensalism called “tenantism”.

Other types are phoresis and antibiosis.

Phoresis is nothing more than the use of a second animal to transport itself, an example of which is fish that move over whales or sharks.

The antibiosis goes beyond the use of another animal since they create a bond but after one of these dies, an example of this is the hermit crab that uses the snail shell to live.

Just as commensalism exists, it is the opposite of amensalism and it is nothing more than the relationship between two living beings where one is harmed thanks to the actions of the other. An example of this is the large trees that block the sunlight from smaller plants, preventing them from living near them.