July 17, 2011

Symbiosis, Mutual Benefiting

Remember studying symbiosis in Science Class? Many plants and animals practice symbiosis in which both partners contribute something important to the other.

One example of symbiosis is the yucca plant and the yucca moth.  The yucca plant has narrow, sawlike leaves.  It depends on a small white moth to pollinate its flowers. 

The yucca moth lays its eggs inside the flowers of the yucca.  Then the eggs hatch, the young moths eat some of the seeds growing inside the flowers, and they spread the pollen from the flowers.

So, the yucca moth has a cozy home with a never-ending food supply for its young.  In return, the moth spreads the pollen from the yucca plants, insuring that they will continue to multiply.  Both contribute something important to the other.

Read more examples of symbiosis in my article,   Examples of Symbiosis:  Nature's Idea of Sharing.

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