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Symbiosis

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KS3, KS4; Third Stage, Fourth Stage.

Ages 11 -17.

DURATION: 45 mins - 55 mins

OVERVIEW:  

Nature can be downright bizarre! Filled with real-world examples, this workshop focuses on the different ways that animals interact with one another. 

 

Pupils will investigate mutualistic, commensalistic and parasitic relationship - from crocodiles and teeth cleaning plover birds, to mind-controlled ants and malaria.

Key Workshop Objectives:

  • Define symbiosis, parasitism, mutualism and commensalism

  • Compare parasitic relationships and how they differ from predator/prey

  • Explore beneficial relationships between organisms.

  • Explain why commensalism is a rare occurrence.

Includes:

Free Printable Resources

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Animals often used in this workshop:

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Animal requests will be accommodated where possible. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee attendance.

What is symbiosis?

‘Symbiosis’ is a term used to describe any type of long-term, repeated interaction between two different species.

The phrase “survival of the fittest” is often used to describe the way species evolve over time. It highlights that only the most successful have offspring, passing on their genes to the next generation. 

However, by using language like this, it’s easy to assume that all species in an ecosystem are constantly working against each other, and that only the most aggressive or strongest species can survive.

While it is true that predators must catch and kill their prey and parasites must take resources away from their hosts, these are only examples of a wide diversity of relationships involving multiple species collectively known as symbiosis.

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