You Got a Friend…

Take good care of me…ants like to give some TLC to their aphid buddies.  The ants shepherd groups of aphids together and tend their ‘herds’ by protecting them against predators – they will see off any aphid munching ladybirds with a swift nip.  In return for their care, the aphids provide the ants with honeydew – a rich, sweet secretion that the aphids make from plant sap.  The ants ‘milk’ the aphids by gently stroking their abdomens to encourage them to give up their honeyed harvest.

Watch my back.. if a hermit crab fancies going in for some home improvements, it will seek out someone special to help embellish its abode.  It finds an amiable anemone and persuades it to set up home on the back of its shell.  The anemone’s stinging tentacles provide protection for the crab; whilst, the crab’s continual scuttling across the seabed, ensures that the anemone always has a fresh supply of prey coming its way.

House mates…it isn’t always easy sharing your space, but hands up who would be brave enough to co-habit with a big, black, hairy spider?  Not me for one!  But the dotted (or should that be dotty?!) humming frog absolutely doesn’t suffer from arachnophobia!  Despite its small size, this fearless frog sets up home in the tarantula’s burrow!  Surely the spider will see it as a swift snack?  Nope!  Instead, it keeps the little frog as a pet pal, providing it with a home and protection.  In return, the frog gobbles up any invading ants that are looking for a meal of tarantula eggs.

Team work….  The goby fish and pistol shrimp know that working together can pay dividends.  The goby fish is hopeless at digging, but the pistol shrimp can excavate a cozy burrow, that’s big enough for two, in no time flat.  When the goby believes it’s safe outside, it will emerge to forage for food.  Spurred on by its chum’s instincts, the shrimp will pop out to begin feeding too; but when the goby senses danger, it quickly sends out a chemical signal to warn its shrimp buddy – and then fish and shrimp quickly dive back into safety together.

The spirit of co-operation….. you might think that a coyote would view a badger as din-dins, but far from it.  These two potential rivals like to co-operate to help each other out.  Together they select a poor unsuspecting victim, like a marmot, as their next meal.  The coyote chases the marmot overground; if it catches it, then its marmot meatballs for coyote lunchtime; but if the marmot dives down a nearby hole, then it’s marmot munchies for the badger’s supper.  Although only one of them gets to eat from each hunt, it tends to work out evenly in the end.

The sweetness of friendship… Fancy some honey for tea?  If you know the special call that attracts the honeyguide bird, then you’re onto a winner.  Honey hunters in Africa know just what sound will grab the attention of this little sweet seeking bird.  Once the honeyguide hears the human’s call, it will hop up, ready to steer them to the nearest wild bees’ nest.  The human will then use smoke to subdue the bees, so that they can harvest some honey – and the honeyguide?  Despite its name, it prefers a bee’s wax buffet, which the human will leave for it as a thank-you present.

It just goes to show what you can do with a little help from your friends….

and just a little note to say that I’ll be taking a break from blogs for a while to allow me to spend more time on writing stories for children (of all ages!) – thanks for reading and promise to blog again now and then 🙂

Published by candy hunter writer

Self publishing author - Childrens books. First book - Chuckle with Chumleigh; recently launched - Chumleigh and the Festive Secret and Chuckle with Chumleigh Again - available on Amazon.

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