Birds And Their Symbiotic Relationships With Animals

Throughout history, certain species of birds have formed strategic partnerships with other animals. And these partnerships have seeming served both of them well. Here are just a few of those pairings.

One of these strange relationships is the one that wild pigs have with robins in Europe. Wild pigs are known for their digging ability. So much so, that many people refer to them as digging machines. And what they are digging for is root foods which they live on. They also feed on grubs and small worms that they find in the soil.

Over the years, the robin has noticed that whenever these wild pigs appear and start to dig up the ground, they are also digging up and exposing worms. As a result, robins have learned to stay close to these pigs as they begin to dig so they can scoop up the worms that appear on the surface.

In a like manner, the Nightjar has an interesting symbiotic relationship with wild cattle and goats in areas where the both live. For the most part, nightjars are birds of the night. Their primary diet consists of moths and beetles. The bird is a great aerial hunter and, even in mid flight, is capable of deftly snatching moths from the air. However, when it is on the ground, it is typically hunting ants and beetles.

During the passing of many hundreds of years, the nightjar has come to notice that when wild cattle and goats are grazing nearby, that their continuous moving around agitates the ground on which they are grazing. And as they do this, all of the activity causes insects to come above ground. So insects such as beetles and moths, are all of a sudden on the surface making them easy pickings for predators. As a result, the nightjar has learned that its often easier to follow the herds and feed off of the insects that they dig up than it is to hunt and scrounge for their own meals.

The oxpecker bird is yet another illustration of birds forming symbiotic relationships. The oxpecker is a close relation to the starling. And within Africa, this bird has a real working partnership with many animals – antelope, buffalo, rhinoceros, and even the giraffe. The relationship has to do with the fact that ticks and lice are very common in this environment.

They are a nuisance to these large animals because their eggs hatch on the animal’s surface and immediately becomes a parasite by gorging on their blood. If an animal gets enough of these on its skin, it can find its strength and staminal slowly being drained away.

Oxpeckers love these parasites because they contain lots of blood which has a ton of nourishments. They comb through the skin and hairs of these large animals and consume all of the ticks and lice that they find. A win/win for everyone.

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German Memories- Franco-prussian War And Otto Von Bismarck’s Diplomacy

Prussia’s victory over Austria increased tensions with France. The French Emperor, Napoleon III, feared that a powerful Prussia would upset the balance of power in Europe.

Bismarck, at the same time, sought war with France; he believed that if the German states perceived France as the aggressor, they would unite behind the King of Prussia.

A suitable premise for war arose in 1870, when the German Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was offered the Spanish throne, which had been vacant since a revolution in 1868. The French not only blocked the candidacy, but also demanded assurances that no member of the House of Hohenzollern become King of Spain.

Bismarck then published the Ems Dispatch, a carefully edited version of a conversation between King Wilhelm and the French ambassador to Prussia. The publication was intended to provoke France into declaring war on Prussia. The Ems Dispatch had the desired effect. France mobilized and declared war, but was seen as the aggressor; as a result, German states, swept up by nationalism and patriotic zeal, rallied to Prussia’s side and provided troops.

The Franco-Prussian War in 1870 was a great success for Prussia. The German army, commanded by Moltke, won victory after victory. The French were defeated in every battle. The remainder of the war featured very careful German operations and massive confusion on the part of the French.

At the end, France was forced to pay a large indemnity and surrender Alsace and part of Lorraine. Though Bismarck opposed the annexation, arguing it would be the “Achilles’ Heel” of the new empire, Moltke and his generals insisted that it was needed to keep France in a defensive position. He broke Frances supremacy over continental Europe after the Franco-Prussian war.

He carefully built the external security of the new German Nation upon his skillful diplomacy, which isolated France internationally and created a vast and complex system of alliances for mutual military support with most of Europe’s nations.

In the role of an ‘honest broker’, Bismarck was also successful in maintaining peace and stability in Europe by settling French political conflicts through negotiations. Essentially a cautious politician, Bismarck never pursued an imperialistic course in Europe. In Africa however, Bismarck followed for some time a policy of imperial conquest, in a manner similar to the other European powers.

His most important tool in politics was his talent in the successful planning of complex international developments.

Bismarck decided to act immediately to secure the unification of Germany after his victory over France. He opened negotiations with representatives of southern German states, offering special concessions if they would agree to unification. The negotiations were successful; King Wilhelm was crowned “German Emperor” on 18 January 1871 in the Hall of Mirrors in the Chateau de Versailles for the further humiliation of France.