Interaction between barnacles and whales symbiotic relationship

THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A WHALE AND BARNACLES by Victoria Hulev on Prezi

interaction between barnacles and whales symbiotic relationship

In our last Winter/Spring lecture at the Orleans Yacht Club, Peter Trull spoke about x “The Symbiotic Relationship between Humpback Whales and. Barnacles and whales have a different type of symbiotic relationship that is known as commensalism. Commensalism describes a situation. Marine symbiotic relationships are an amazing part of nature! The whale reaps no rewards from the barnacles attached to its body, but it also.

Symbiotic Sea Life

Omnivores eat both animals and plants. Once again, knowing the Latin root helps a lot: For example, an insectivore is a carnivore that eats insects, and a frugivore is an herbivore that eats fruit. This may seem like a lot of terminology, but it helps scientists communicate and immediately understand a lot about a particular type of organism by using the precise terms.

Not all organisms need to eat others for food and energy. Some organisms have the amazing ability to make produce their own energy-rich food molecules from sunlight and simple chemicals. Organisms that make their own food by using sunlight or chemical energy to convert simple inorganic molecules into complex, energy-rich organic molecules like glucose are called producers or autotrophs.

Some producers are chemosynthesizers using chemicals to make food rather than photosynthesizers; instead of using sunlight as the source of energy to make energy-rich molecules, these bacteria and their relatives use simple chemicals as their source of energy.

Chemosynthesizers live in places with no sunlight, such as along oceanic vents at great depths on the ocean floor.

interaction between barnacles and whales symbiotic relationship

No matter how long you or a giraffe stands out in the sun, you will never be able to make food by just soaking up the sunshine; you will never be able to photosynthesize. Producers use the food that they make and the chemical energy it contains to meet their own needs for building-block molecules and energy so that they can do things such as grow, move, and reproduce.

All other life depends on the energy-rich food molecules made by producers — either directly by eating producers, or indirectly by eating organisms that have eaten producers.

Symbiotic Relationship Between Humpback Whales and Marine Birds Presentation Recap

Not surprisingly, ecologists also have terms that describe where in the food chain a particular consumer operates. A primary consumer eats producers e. And it can go even further: A single individual animal can act as a different type of consumer depending on what it is eating.

interaction between barnacles and whales symbiotic relationship

When a bear eats berries, for example, it is being a primary consumer, but when it eats a fish, it might be a secondary or a tertiary consumer, depending on what the fish ate! All organisms play a part in the web of life and every living thing will die at some point. This is where scavengers, detritivores which eat detritus or parts of dead thingsand decomposers come in.

Ecological interactions (article) | Ecology | Khan Academy

They all play a critical role that often goes unnoticed when observing the workings of an ecosystem. They break down carcasses, body parts and waste products, returning to the ecosystem the nutrients and minerals stored in them.

This interaction is critical for our health and health of the entire planet; without them we would be literally buried in dead stuff. These whales spend summers in the cooler waters near the Cape and winters in more tropical areas. Another interesting fact Trull provided is that these whales, being mammals with lungs similar to ours, are unlike humans in that they are voluntary breathers.

Examples of Commensalism

Humpback Whales feed primarily on sand eels also known as sandlancesthis food source is what leads to their interesting relationship with marine birds. To better illustrate this relationship, Trull outlined the three types of symbiosis: If you think of mutualism as mutually beneficial, and parasitism as one benefitting at the cost of the well-being of the other, commensalism falls right in between.

Commensalism is a type of symbiotic relationship where one species will benefit while not affecting the other species in a positive or negative way. The relationship between Humpback Whales and marine birds is an excellent example of commensalism.

Humpback Whales will consume up to 1 ton of sand eels every day. Commensalism, in which only one species benefits without causing significant harm to the other, is the type of symbiosis between barnacles and whales.

interaction between barnacles and whales symbiotic relationship

Cementing the Relationship Barnacles begin their lives as free-swimming larvae, progressing through six larval stages. When they reach the last, or cyprid, stage, they settle onto the skin of a whale, where they complete their metamorphosis into juvenile barnacles. The juveniles -- tiny creatures resembling shrimp -- secrete cement that hardens into the hard, calcareous plates that surround them throughout their entire lives. As the cement plates meld together, the whale's skin is pulled into the spaces between the plates, permanently fusing the barnacles to the whale.

A Whale of a Ride For the entirety of the barnacles' lives they'll exist as diminutive hitchhikers on the backs and bellies of whales.

They derive two basic benefits from this commensalistic relationship. As filter feeders, they depend on the availability of plankton, which they filter into their bodies through feather-like appendages extended through holes in their shells. When the whales swim into plankton-rich waters to feed, so do the barnacles.