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Better Together: Animals Who Collaborate in the Wild

The bonus video at the bottom of the page of a coyote and a badger playing around has made headlines recently, with people delighted to see the adorable friendship between the two animals. Well, we’re here to tell you that coyotes and badgers have been allies for a long time, helping each other to hunt rodents and prairie dogs. However, these two mammals certainly aren’t the only team in the animal kingdom. Take a look at these 7 adorable pairs of animals who collaborate in the wild. 

1. Water Buffalo and Cattle Egrets

Water Buffalo and Cattle Egrets
Image Source: Katie Hunt / Flickr
Cattle egrets and water buffalo have a good deal going. The egrets sit on top of the water buffalo, which is the perfect spot to swoop and nab insects – the bird’s main nutrition. The buffalos allow it, as the egrets pick harmful insects like fleas and ticks off of them and warn them about approaching predators. 

2. Ostriches and Zebras 

Ostriches and Zebras 
Both of these species can fall prey to predators, so it's quite natural that they group together for protection. Neither of the two is particularly observant, but they have the perfect combination of skills to look out for each other. The zebras have excellent eyesight but a not-so-great sense of smell. The situation is reversed for the ostriches – they have an excellent sense of smell and relatively poor eyesight. By hanging around each other, zebras and ostriches are fully equipped to sense danger.

3. Crocodiles and Egyptian Plovers

Crocodiles and Egyptian Plovers
Source Image: Reddit
The Egyptian Plover is a small, outstandingly courageous bird. It feeds on the leftover bits found between the teeth of crocodiles! The reason the croc lets the plover have its meal in peace is because every time the little bird does so, he gets a free dental checkup and cleaning – thus keeping his teeth healthy. 

4. Pistol Shrimps and Gobies

Pistol Shrimps and Gobies
Despite being a predator himself, the pistol shrimp is also easy prey for larger ocean dwellers due to his poor eyesight. Pistol Shrimps and Gobies formed a partnership, where the gobies act as ‘seeing eye fish’ – their tails stays in contact with the shrimps’ antennae while they swim around. That way the fish can signal to the shrimps and warn them when danger is near. In return, the pistol shrimps allow their goby friends free access to hide in their burrows and stay safe through the night.

5. Colombian Lesserblack Tarantulas and Humming Frogs

Colombian Lesserblack Tarantulas and Humming Frogs
Tarantulas and humming frogs have a sort of roommates’ agreement – they tend to live in the same burrows. The frog gets protection, as no other predator dares to come near the terrifying spider, but what about the tarantula? The humming frog feeds on ants and other insects that might otherwise harm the tarantula’s eggs.

6. Honey Badgers and Honeyguides

Honey Badgers and Honeyguides
As their name suggests, both of these species have a sweet tooth for honey. The problem is that badgers have a hard time finding beehives, whereas the birds would struggle to penetrate them. So... you guessed it! Honeyguides lead honey badgers to the prize, and the latter raids the beehive for the team’s sake.

7. Daniel Greene and His Seizure Snake

Daniel Greene and His Seizure Snake
Service dogs are pretty common, but what about service snakes? A Washington resident named Daniel Greene, who suffers from grand mal seizures has a special relationship with his 1.5 meter (5ft) long boa named Bedrock. Greene often carried his pet snake draped around his neck, and he began to notice that Bedrock senses when he’s about to have a seizure and squeezes his neck slightly before it happens.
Since then, he doesn’t leave the house unaccompanied by Bedrock. The snake’s heads up gives Daniel enough time to relax, take the necessary medication or do whatever needs to be done to prevent the seizure or endure it safely. The downside is, he is sometimes asked to leaves stores or other public places, as some people feel threatened by Bedrock’s presence, which Daniel says he understands. 
Bonus Video: Coyote and Badger Buddy Moment


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