5. What do parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism have in common? How are they different?
Parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism are common in the sense that they are close, long-lasting, and physical relationships between two organisms. Generally, these two organisms are of different species and their relationship is formed through natural instincts. Additionally, at least one organism will benefit from the relationship.
They are different in the way the two organisms interact and the party that benefits. In parasitism, one party benefits while the other loses out. The parasite derives nourishment from the host, essentially starving or adversely affecting the host. Examples of parasitism are tapeworms in in the intestines of humans, fleas on dogs, and so on. Even though parasites harm their hosts, most will not kill the host (Trees for Life, 2015).
In mutualism, both parties in the relationship benefit. Through evolution, most of these species cannot survive or exist without the other. For example, the sea anemone and clownfish have both adapted to survive with each other’s help. The clownfish has a special adaptation that causes the anemone’s stings to not hurt it. Furthermore, the clownfish gets housing and both parties can fight off the other’s natural predators.
In commensalism, only one organism benefits while the other is not noticeably affected. For example, the remora fish and shark relationship is a form of commensalism. The remora fish follows the shark and eats