Animal Working Together: Learn Interesting Facts For Kids!

Christian Mba
Feb 29, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Jan 10, 2022
Teamwork is the process of working together
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.4 Min

Teamwork is the process of working together to achieve a purpose wherein the benefits are sometimes shared among the team members and sometimes not.

Humans have battled numerous hardships, such as famines, droughts, ice ages, and tsunamis. These adverse conditions are the reasons behind our current state of civilization.

We were able to overcome these tough times by depending on each other. And to our surprise, we are not the only ones who have employed this survival tactic. Apart from working with us, animals also work with each other to benefit and thrive. Some scientists even argue that animals were way ahead of us and that we have learned the essence of group behavior from them. This has a high probability of being true. How the members of the animal kingdom manage to form and maintain these relationships and the success rate of this interdependency is actually quite shocking. Animals only have five senses, and some of their bonds are fairly complex and well organized.

When do animals work together?

Animals work together when they need to find food, shelter, or protect themselves from predators.

Sometimes an animal is incapable of doing the simplest of things and will need the help of another. Forming teams is a pretty tough job. It takes years of practice to understand the other animal and attend to its needs. They take their time to find the right partner, and once they click with a particular animal, they immediately start working together. They only work together when there is a need. Some animals can be selfless and join hands with others, even when they do not benefit from it.

Why do animals work together?

Animals are social creatures that tend to live in groups and move in them. Just like humans, they have a variety of reasons for sticking together. Based on the type of animal, the reasons for working together might differ.

The main reason why many animals work together is to increase their chance of survival. Team building has a variety of perks, like an increase in food accumulation and better protection. When animals form a team, team members are given different roles based on gender and age. Some members lookout for predators while others hunt. They share their food once the hunt is over. This way, they can hunt quickly and easily while avoiding damage. Some animals on their own might not be powerful enough to escape predation. Forming a group not only increases their chance of survival but also ensures that the young ones are safe. Predators usually prey on larger animals when in a herd, leaving the young ones out. Predators are also intimidated by groups.

In the process of trying to hunt and survive together, these animals form teams, which later develop into bonds. Some animals, apart from working together with their own species, also work with other species. This type of relationship is called a symbiotic relationship. Sometimes an animal works together with another animal even if it is not benefiting from it. Such a relationship, formed for the benefit of only one animal, in which the other animal is neither harmed nor benefitted, is called commensalism. Scientists are still trying to figure out why animals act this way since there is no obvious benefit to their help.

Examples of Teamwork In Nature:

Honey badgers have a tough time locating beehives. Honeyguide birds love honey and can easily locate beehives. Honeyguide birds cannot get their honey from the hives. This is when they come together. The honeyguide bird will lead the honey badger to the hive. Once the honey badger collects its honey, the bird will feed on the remaining honey.

There is a relationship between cattle egrets and water buffaloes. The fur of a water buffalo has parasites. Most birds in the forest hunt on their own. But a cattle egret depends on water buffalos. It will sit on the back of a water buffalo to eat the parasites. They also use water buffaloes for travel. In return, they remove insects such as ticks and fleas from the water buffalo's skin.

Zebras and ostriches make a great team! Zebras have a weak sense of smell but powerful eyesight, while ostriches have a great sense of smell but poor eyesight. The two intelligent species come together and keep predators at bay by relying on each other's senses.

Ants and caterpillars share a symbiotic relationship. The caterpillar takes nectar from flowers and shares it with ants. Ants, in turn, protect the caterpillars from predators. When you look at it, this relationship is actually one-sided and might not always be a success. Ants have a variety of foods in their diet, and nectar is not the only thing they eat. Caterpillars have somehow tricked them into thinking that they need nectar and that they are benefiting from the relationship. Some ants are smart enough to figure this out.

Woodpeckers and ants are enemies that suddenly come together in spring. Black tree ants lend their nests to rufous woodpeckers to lay eggs. Some ants even go to the extent of carving holes for adult woodpeckers to come in and go out without difficulty. Some people find this behavior suspicious, while others say that the ants are cunning creatures who only do this in exchange for the leftovers from the baby woodpecker's food.

Sea otters are marine mammals that are mainly found in the North Pacific Ocean. They form groups called rafts when they come to land to rest for mutual protection.

A crocodile cannot floss its teeth. The Egyptian plover bird will help the crocodile by getting into its mouth and cleaning the bits of food. The plover bird completes its diet by doing this.

Fish and turtles also have a bond built for a similar benefit. The cleaner fish will eat the algae and parasites in a turtle's shell. This benefits both the fish and the turtle.

A polar bear's life is spent alone.

Are any animals solitary?

While team building can be fun and beneficial, some animals choose solitary lives. Giant animals need lots of food. Making friends or working as a team will only reduce their portion. Some animals are solitary by nature, while others make the choice to survive. There are several solitary animals. Some of the most solitary animals are as follows:

The platypus is a strange-looking mammal that shares its habitat with many other animals. However, it does not interact with other animals unless it is the mating season. The polar bear, the king of the Arctic, also leads a solitary life.

They live in groups when they are young. As it grows older, the competition for food increases. So, polar bears part ways and live on their own. Polar bears can come together and share their food with other polar bears when they find huge dead animals like whales.

Almost all deer species travel in herds. The largest member of the family, the moose, is one of the few exceptions. They are very strong animals that can manage on their own. This is why they do not work together. It is widely believed that tortoises must be kept in pairs. But the truth is that over half of the tortoise species are solitary. Tortoises are slow. Forming groups will only make things harder for them, as they can easily be spotted by predators.

Did you know?

Killer whales are some of the most brilliant hunters. They team up in groups consisting of over 40 members. They hunt other fish species by distracting and separating them from their groups. Once the group gets smaller or the prey is alone, it is just a cakewalk!

Wolves form highly developed teams. They use every possible movement to send messages to other wolves on the team. A wolf will even die for its pack members.

Animals and insects also work together with plants and trees. The zebra swallowtail butterfly is dependent on pawpaw trees. It lays its eggs on the leaves of the tree, which are toxic to other animals. Caterpillars, as they grow, consume these toxic leaves, which do not affect them. Predators will leave them alone due to the toxins in the caterpillar's body. Butterflies help the trees reproduce through pollination.

Team formation and working together are also observed in eukaryotes, like fungi. Curvularia protuberata builds a mutual relationship with panic grass. Panic grass is able to grow and survive in extremely hot temperatures with the help of this fungus, which gives a heat-tolerant virus to the grass. The grass provides all the necessary nutrients for the fungus.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for animals working together, then why not take a look at what animal is a Leo, or animal and plant cells for kids.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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