Hey, who’s in charge here?
On Boss’s Day, we’re showcasing a working relationship with unusual power dynamics. The oxpecker bird and the African buffalo, while of starkly different sizes, make a good team. The oxpecker feeds exclusively while perched on the buffalo’s body, removing bothersome parasites and bugs while getting a steady supply of food for itself. Some scientists believe this to be an example of a mutualistic relationship, but others think the oxpecker behaves more like a parasite. Ah, office politics.
Eland antelope and giraffe at Etosha National Park, Namibia