In details

Commensalism



Hyena and lion have a commensal relationship

What is - definition

Commensalism is an ecological relationship between two organisms in which one benefits without harming the other. This benefit is usually related to the food obtained by the diner.

In this harmonic interspecific relationship (between different species) (there is no harm to any species involved), the individual who benefits is called the commensal.

The word commensalism comes from Latin, because the Latin expression cum mensa means "sharing the table".

Commensalism Examples

- Relationship between the alligator and the vulture: the vulture (diner) feeds on the remains of the animal predated by the alligator.

- Relationship between shark and remora (fish): This fish closely follows the shark, feeding on the remains of food discarded by the shark.

- Relationship between hyenas and lions: After lions hunt and devour prey, hyenas arrive to feed on prey carcasses.

- Relationship between vultures and humans: Vultures feed on dead animals and meat scraps that humans deposit in dumps.