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An Inexplicable Natural Partnership

March 3, 2014
Nancy Northrup share on facebook:

How can evolution possibly explain things like the relationship between Goby Fish and Pistol Shrimp? The Pistol Shrimp are blind. About all they know to do is to dig holes. But as they focus on digging holes, they can’t focus on defending themselves from opportunistic predators; besides they can’t see them.

So, they form a partnership with a Goby Fish who need a hole to escape to from predators. The hole is also where the female Goby lays her eggs to keep them safe.

All day long the Shrimp cleans out the hole, which would otherwise be taken over by the ocean, in only an hour. The Goby sits in the hole keeping an eye out for predators. If he spots an enemy, he waves his tail a few times and the Shrimp takes refuge in the hole. If it looks dangerous enough, the Goby retreats to the safety of the hole also. Any time the Shrimp is outside the hole, he keeps his antennae attached to the Goby, so they always know where the other one is.

At night, the Goby rests in the hole, the Shrimp closes the entrance with sand, and they spend the night together. In the morning, the Shrimp builds the gate of the burrow again. The Shrimp also grooms the Goby by cleaning his fins of parasites.

How do they form their partnership? A Goby will find a Shrimp. Somehow he knows that they were destined to be together. Somehow the Shrimp agrees, and a new pair is formed. This is genetic; they don’t learn this, they just know it. How could a relationship like this have come about genetically by “random chance?”

Here is a picture of a Goby/Shrimp partnership: http://coglab.hbcse.tifr.res.in/teacher-resources/multimedia-resources/symbiosis/pistol-shrimp-and-the-goby-fish

Here is them initiating their partnership: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFSq9VvDO-U

And here is an animation of DNA replication by DNA polymerase with the function of all its subunits: http://imgur.com/gallery/S8QQRI4

Pistol Shrimp and the Goby Fish — Small Science
coglab.hbcse.tifr.res.in
While we are talking about the animals of the sea and how they help each other, let us get to know about a famous partnership.
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