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Different kinds of organisms can live together to promote the survival of one or both creatures.

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Location, Location, Location
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Location, Location, Location


Commensal Relationships of Pearlfish

Student Exploration

Deluxe Accommodations?

Shelter is something very important for many animals. All animals need to rest in a way which minimizes their risk of injury. A group of marine fishes known as "Pearlfish" have found a novel solution to this problem. Though it is not a solution everyone would be comfortable with here is a video of a pearlfish and its "deluxe accommodations.

Find out more information about pearlfish here

Extension Investigation

If you need help scratching a mental itch, use the resources below:

  1. Why is the sea cucumber the best available shelter for the pearlfish?
  2. Where is the pearlfish's anus located? How does this location reflect the habitat they live in?
  3. Do pearlfish have to live in sea cucumbers? Explain your answer
  4. How does the respiratory behavior of the sea cucumbers help the pearlfish?
  5. Why is the relationship of adult pearlfish to sea cucumbewrs considered commensal, while the relationship of some juvenile pearlfish species to sea cucumbers considered parasitic?

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