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International Journal Of Forest, Animal And Fisheries Research(IJFAF)

The ecological and evolutionary significance of the crocodile-plover symbiosis – A review

Vidya Padmakumar , Murugan Shanthakumar

Article Info: Received: 18 Mar 2023; Received in revised form: 19 Apr 2023; Accepted: 25 Apr 2023; Available online: 07 May 2023

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DOI: 10.22161/ijfaf.7.3.1

Journal : International Journal Of Forest, Animal And Fisheries Research(IJFAF)


The present study investigates the epibiotic relationship between the Nile crocodlei (Crocodylus niloticus) and the Egyptian plover (Pluvianus aegyptius), also known as the crocodile bird. Epibiosis is a form of symbiosis where one organism resides on the surface of another. To understand this relationship, the present study examines the ecological and evolutionary context of it, as well as the behavioral and physiological mechanisms that facilitate it. Furthermore, the present study evaluates the implications and challenges for conservation of this relationship. To achieve these objectives, a literature review on this topic summarizes the main findings, which indicate that the crocodile offers a safe habitat for the plover to roost and nest, while the plover cleans the crocodile’s teeth and removes parasites. However, the present study also identifies the limitations and gaps in the current knowledge and proposes directions for future research. This study argues that this relationship between living organisms is a remarkable case of cooperation and confidence in nature, and that it deserves more interest from researchers and decision-makers.

crocodile-plover, Egyptian plover, Egyptian plover.

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