10 Examples Of Commensalism In Nature

Himanshi singh       May 19, 2020

#Golden Jackals 

         The term commensalism was initially coined by a Belgian scientist, Pierre-Joseph van Beneden, in 1876, specifically to refer to scavengers that tailed apex predators to dine on the leftover prey. One such example of this is in Golden jackals 

#Remora (Sucker Fish) 

         Another curious example of commensal scavenging is amongst remora fish (eight species that belong to the Echeneidae family). These "suckerfish" painlessly attach themselves to large marine animals, such as sharks, mantas, and whales, wait for them to feed, and then detach to snag some scraps. 

#Cattle Egrets 

         Unlike the remora, Cattle egrets hang out on the backs of large grazing animals, such as cattle and horses, to capitalize on food. When the beasts of burden stir up the ground, the small birds hop down and snatch up exposed insects.  

#Burdock Plants 

        If you have been hiking through the thick brush in North America, chances are you have picked a few of this weed's prickly brats off your clothes. The Burdock plant utilizes its spiky, globular flower heads to disperse its seeds across the land. 


       Pseuroscorpions also exhibit phoresy in that these arachnids attach themselves to exposed surfaces of host animals like the fur of mammals or beneath the wings of beetles and bees. In this way, these scorpion-like creatures, but without stingers, receive protection from predators 

#Hermit Crab

       Hermit crabs famously seek shelter in acquired shells. Oftentimes, these squishy crustaceans rely on expired gastropods (snails) to protect themselves. Therefore, this qualifies as an example of metabiosis (another category of commensalism) 

#Arctic Fox

      This frisky North American tundra-dweller will sometimes follow caribou around, which helps to indirectly summon preferred food sources. The stocky herbivores dig into the snow to scrounge up lichen plants. 


      Most owls are known to nest in the natural cavities in trees, cliffs, or buildings, as well as the abandoned nests of hawks or crows. In the first case, since they are not themselves burrowing into the woody plant, they cause no harm to the stalwart specimen. 

#Tree Frog

     Tree frogs also rely on arboreal friends for shelter and protection. Unlike nesting birds, these amphibians set up shop underneath large leaves in order to camouflage from predators and hide from the heavy rains 

Thanks For Reading

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