A Symbiotic Relationship
Author: Donna Fentanes
Source: San Jose Mercury News
June 12, 2012
"I had the pleasant opportunity to volunteer for several hours the other week in Connie's 3rd Grade class at Ocean Shore School.
It never ceases to amaze me that after four years of college and countless years of homeschooling, I continue to learn new things. Last week, it was Oceans Week. The theme this year was Coral Reefs. The kids were learning all they could about the Coral Reef, its habitat and its creatures. My rotation was teaching about Reef Buddies. I explained about symbiotic relationships between some of the most unlikely creatures. The most popular relationship where both species benefit was between the Clown Fish and the Sea Anemone. Nemo, I mean the Clown Fish, is unhurt by the anemone's stinging tentacles because of its mucous coating, and the anemone is protected from its enemies, particularly the butterfly fish, by Nemo's presence. This relationship is an example of mutualism one of the three kinds of symbiotic relationships among sea creatures typified in the Coral Reef. Commensalism and Parasiticism are the other two.
Commensalism is a relationship where one species benefits and the other is relatively unaffected. Parasitism is a relationship where one species benefits and the other is harmed. As I was teaching and listening to Connie's blurb about symbiosis, I could see an immediate parallel in human relationships."
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