A Burchell's zebra and a cattle egret at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa
© Richard Du Toit/Minden Picture
We can all just get along. International Day for Biological Diversity
As this Burchell’s zebra grazes on the grass, it stirs up insects for this opportunistic cattle egret to eat. It’s a great example of commensalism, a relationship in which one species benefits without helping or hurting the other.
There are many other amazing examples of animals working together. The anemone’s tentacles protect crabs from predators and the crab's mobility helps the anemone move around. The Egyptian plover bird picks food from the Nile crocodile's teeth, and the crocs get a free clean!
All over the world, across forests, oceans and deserts, species help each other to thrive. And humans need healthy ecosystems for our water, food, medicine, energy and so much more. Today is the UN's International Day for Biological Diversity, promoting ecosystem-based approaches to cope with climate change, food and water security and more.