Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

On Symbiosis

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Those of you who haven’t noticed this yet, The Onion has a really amusing article about symbiosis that you have got to read .. it might even make a really amusing “extra reading” for the classroom!

Devouring horsefly larvae embedded in her 3,000-pound partner’s back, the tickbird seemed to agree that there was little fire left in their symbiotic relationship. At worst, she said, it feels like she and the rhino have been trapped in the same dead-end symbiosis for “countless millions of years.”

“We just go through the motions, and there’s hardly any communication,” the tickbird said. “And we do it the exact same way every time. I get on top and take the parasites off while he just lays there.”

“Feed off the embedded ticks on his hide, chirp when the predators come. Feed off the embedded ticks on his hide, chirp when the predators come. Where’s the passion, the heat?” the tickbird continued.

The tickbird also accused the rhino of trying to make her “feel small.” [story]


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    September 24, 2007

    Who would get custody of the ticks?


  2. #2 JPS
    September 24, 2007

    The Onion article reminds me of an earlier Onion science article,

    Fifth-Grade Science Paper Doesn’t Stand Up To Peer Review

  3. #3 andy
    September 24, 2007

    “The rhino said that he often feels like a victim of her nitpicking.”


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