The Marvelous Symboitic Relationships in the Rain Forest


Many amazing lives are found within a Rain Forest. Each one of those lives is part of it's own special relationship. A symbiotic relationship. What is a symbiotic relationship? It is defined as 2 or more species working together for mutual benefit. Many of these are found in the forest, but in this post we will discuss the relationship between sloths, moths, trees and ants. 

The Cecropia tree is the equivalent to the sloth as the eucalyptus is to the koala. It's on of  the most important element of the sloths diet. Within the tree lives a colony of ants that are called "Aztec Ants". The role of these ants within the tree is to protect the tree from predators such as monkeys, iguanas and more that climb the tree to feed on the leaves and flowers. Yet they don't mess with the sloths. Why is this? It is because there is another colony present. This one lives within the fur of the sloth. It's name is Cryptoses moth. They produce a pheromone that repels the Aztec Ant. They also provide elements for increase of bacteria on the sloths fur which is also an important part of the sloths diet. 

The sloth then comes down once a week to do its latrine business at the roots of tree. But this act is more complex that just providing fertilizer for the tree. While they release themselves the moths come out to lay their eggs within the feces and also bring bacteria from the feces to the algae on the sloth provoking increase in growth of the algae which has the same dietary value as the cecropia tree and added proteins, carbohydrates and fat that are required for the sloths energy.

Pretty amazing!!!