5 Weird and Wonderful Animal Friendships

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Thanks to the internet,

we’re all used to the adorable friendships between cats and dogs, and other such pets.

But did you know there are friendships like this throughout the animal kindgom?

Here are some of the strangest, cutest and most surprising animal friends in the world.

 

Moray eels and cleaner shrimp824893897_e44125f624_o

Ever seen a Moray eel? They’re terrifying. If one bites you, you might as well just sacrifice that body part because you’re not getting it back. No, really. Unless you literally cut it’s head off, those jaws will not unlock.

So it’s a bit surprising that they’re best friends with some of the tastiest and most commonly eaten seafood – sorry, sealife – shrimps. The Pacific Cleaner shrimp grows to about 6 centimeters long, and they team up with other shrimps to make a fish cleaning base!

Moray eels let them swim inside their mouth and surprisingly, don’t clamp down but instead, wait for the shrimp to clean them out. Win-win.

Sharks and Remora2950573720_46b6975b23_b

Sharks don’t seem like the friendliest of creatures, but there’s one fellow fish they’ll share their company with. The Remora attaches itself to the sark with a sucker disc and travels alongside it (like that annoying friend you think only likes you for your car).

It also eats the leftover food (still reminding you of that friend?). Unlike those useless friends, the Remora does pay the shark back! It eats any parasites that latch on, and ensures it stays healthy and clean. Tell that to your irritating, car-stealing friend.

Olive Baboon and African Elephant8026933464_7fd0d9da68_b

Most people know elephants have deep friendships with each other – we’ve all heard tales of circus elephants being reunited years later to great joy. But did you know, they’re also excellent pals to some baboons?

The olive baboons follow the elephants around, waiting for them to dig ‘wells’ in the ground. The baboons make use of this water, but, since we all know elephants don’t forget, pay it back by acting as an alarm system. Their positioning in the tree tips gives them great vision, and means the elephants have chance to flee.

Coyote and American Badger4573979660_dd6269d760_b

When I say coyote, most people think of a wild dog that may occasionally hunt in packs, but mostly spends it’s time alone. You’d be surprised to find out they hang out with badgers then. They team up, chasing small burrowing animals. If it’s above ground?

Great, the coyote kills it. If it goes under? Then it’s badgers turn. Coyotes in this kind of partnership catch around a third more prey than those who think this friendship is beneath them.

Oxpeckers and rhinos5615631321_579b2c8b75_b

African Rhinos hang out with a small bird called the Oxpecker. Oxpeckers love eating ticks. Specifically, blood-filled ones. They’ll pull out the biggest, fattest ticks from the side of their rhino friend.

It’s not the nicest of friendships though – pulling free these ticks can cause a new injury, and they’ll often ignore the smaller ones. They also free them of parasitic insects. This all sounds very one sided, but the rhino gets something too – as well as being bugfree, they get advance warning of predators due to the birds screaming. Friends are the best.


Photo Credit:  Alfonso GonzálezBrian SnelsonChris ShataraPat GainesArno Meintjes