Close symbiosis for mutual benefit

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Avian2016 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,146
Close symbiosis for mutual benefit
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Camargue horses and Cattle egrets live in tight symbiosis. Whenever Cattle egrets leave the horses' backs or move away from the horses, the horses have problems with the huge numbers of pesky insects that drink their blood. The insects make the horses so nervous that they gnaw their teeth on the insect bite sites in pain. You can see the bite wounds from their own desperation in the last photo below.

Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) on the back of Camargue

Cattle egrets left Camargue without assistance - Pesky insects at work.

Insects' burning bites making Camargue highly nervous - See small gnawing bites made by the horse itself

Thanks for looking.

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