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tpo-38 - Speaking - question4
Question 4 of 6


Explain how the example of the mite and hummingbird in the lecture, illustrates the concept of phorecy.


Animals often have to move from place to place to obtain resources. Most animals do so using their own physical effort, but animals of certain species may not be able to transport themselves efficiently in order to access the resources they need. These animals may make use of another animal species to transport them, without causing any injury to the other species. This relationship is known as phoresy. Phoresy, which is a temporary relationship, benefits the passenger species and causes little or no harm to the species doing the transporting.

So, here's a good example of this.

Mites are very small, insect-like creatures. Mites live in tropical climates and feed on nectar and pollen and flowers, but these tropical flowers don't last long. They wilt and fall off quickly and so the mites need to find new flowers in order to get more nectar and pollen to eat, but the mites can't fly and they are so small that it would take them awhile and a lot of effort to climb down one flower, crawl to another one, and climb all the way up again.

So, how do they get to the next flower? Well, there's a bird: the humming bird.

Humming birds eat the nectar from the same flowers as the mites, so when a humming bird comes around and sticks its beak into the flowers to get the nectar out, quickly climb onto the humming bird Well, as l mentioned, mites are pretty tiny, so the humming bird isn't harmed in any way and all they do is stick to the humming bird.

Since the humming bird also goes from flower to flower for nectar, it takes the mites along.Once the humming bird gets to the next flower, the mites climb off and eat some pollen and nectar there on the new flower Without the humming bird carrying them from one flower to another, the mites would find it much more difficult getting food.

This passage talks about a concept named phoresy. Phoresy refers to a temporary relationship in which one animal which is unable to move from one place to another depends on another animal to transport itself in order to get enough resources without causing any injury. ln the lecture, the man takes mats as an example. He mentions that mats feed themselves on the nectar and pollen of certain kind of flower. However, they are too small to move from one flower to another. Luckily, there is also a kind of bird which also eat the same kind of flower. So the mat just need to stick to the bird and the bird can take it to a new flower. Also mats are tiny enough so they won't cause any injury to the birds.

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