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Shrimps and moray eels share a mutually beneficial relationship and it's totally fascinating

They depend on each other for survival and fulfill each other's key needs. People on the internet are amazed by their interdependence.

symbiosis between clownfish and anemone
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The world beneath the ocean is absolutely fascinating and its many aspects are still unexplored. The more the researchers try to find out the secrets of the underwater organisms, the more intriguing information is revealed. A recent discovery of a complex relationship between two aquatic organisms has resurfaced and it has shocked everyone. A video regarding the symbiotic relationship between Cleaner Shrimps (Lysmata grabhami) and Moray Eels or Muraenidae was posted on Twitter by Science Girl. This video has gathered over 1 million views and almost 15k likes. 

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The tweet mentions, "These shrimp clean parasites, dead skin and algae around the moray eel’s eyes, gills, and teeth, they get a free meal, and the eel is cleared of its parasitic load." Many were intrigued by this information and some even added to it. Twitter user, @gunsnrosesgirl3, wrote, "The moray's home (crevice) is often lined with shrimps, they are protected from predators for the services they provide." 

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Another person, @abc_science, shared some facts about other mutualistic relationships between animals. They wrote, "Similarly, mutualistic relationship between figs & fig wasps is unique example of inter-species cooperation. Figs provide a place for wasps to lay eggs & in return, wasps pollinate figs, ensuring their survival. Know more about such symbiotic relationships."

Twitter user, @JoePlant2021, commented, "When I worked in a tropical fish shop the cleaner shrimp would always pick off any scabs they found on my hands while servicing their tanks." @CatherineMFDS, who had a similar experience to share, wrote, "I’ve watched a stingray's cleaning station in the Bahamas. One after one they glided in to get cleaned up by fish & shrimp. One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in nature." 

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According to Coral Sea Dreaming, there are over 200 species of Moray Eel. Most of them are exclusively marine but some species live in brackish and freshwater. They have tiny eyes and hence poor eyesight, making them rely on a keen sense of smell to find prey. Cleaner shrimp, which live in a symbiotic relationship with the eel, is the sole regular companions for certain species. The shrimp assemble in groups known as 'cleaning station,' and travel around the eel's whole body, including within the mouth, eliminating parasites and dead skin which serve as their diet. 

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The art of living together is also well-developed in quite a few other underwater species. For example, the anemone (Heteractis magnifica) shelters and protects the clownfish (Amphiron ocellaris) while the clownfish supplies necessary nutrients to the anemone through their waste and also wards off potential predators. Above water, Amazonian fruit bats and fig trees share a similar symbiotic relationship. Fig trees are staple food for the fruit bats who help scatter the fig trees and maintain the population of these trees. 

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