A mutualistic relationship is when two organisms of different species work mutually, each the organism gets the benefit as a result of the relationship. For example, Oxpeckers arrive on zebras and eat ticks and other parasites that exist on their skin. The Oxpeckers get food and the zebra is free of pest.
A parasitic relationship, the parasite lives on another organism or a host, harming it and likely causing death (parasite gain benefit and host suffers). A parasite and its host evolve together. The parasite adapts to its environment by living in and using the host in ways. Hosts also develop ways of getting rid of or protecting themselves from parasites. For example, Fleas harm their hosts, such as dogs, by biting their skin, sucking their blood, and causing them to itch. The fleas, in turn, get food and shelter.
Only one species benefits while the other is neither helped nor harmed. For example, remora fish are bony and have a dorsal fin that acts like a suction part. Remora fish use this fin to attach themselves to whales or sharks and eat the pieces their hosts. The remora fish gets a meal, while its host gets not harmed but it gets nothing.
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