Ecosystem Niche; The Wasp and the Fig

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I though the video about the bears and the salmon was very interesting. The salmon bringing nitrogen to the soil when they die and the bears taking it further inland when doing their business. It really is a neat symbiotic relationship. Another symbiotic relationship i find interesting is the Fig and the Fig wasp.

Both the Fig and the Fig wasp have a very closely nit relationship due to years and years of evolution, adapting over time. Both of their goals is to reproduce, the wasp pollinates for the fig and the  fig provides a place for the wasps babies. The female wasp lays her eggs inside the fig and dies, when the babies hatch the males dig tunnels for the females to get out, the females go to other figs and pollinates them and then digs inside and lays her eggs and it starts all over, the males stay in the fig and continue to dig tunnels.  When the female wasp goes to pollinate the fig there are male and female figs, she needs the male one to lay eggs if she goes to a female one she gets stuck and dies. The fig breaks down the dead wasp into protein.

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for more information the following website will explain in more detain the process and why.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/fig-wasp.htm

most people when i tell them this they get grossed out that there were bugs in their food but i think its interesting  how the fig and the fig wasp need each other to survive. I think the wasp would be an ecosystem engineer in relation to the fig. The wasps behavior is vital to the survival of the fig and the wasp. I wonder if bugs with relationships to plants like this ever get confused like if there is a plant similar to figs if a wasp would try and pollinate it? And i wonder why did the wasp choose the fig or before this relationship occurred how did either reproduce and how they adapted over time?

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One thought on “Ecosystem Niche; The Wasp and the Fig

  1. Wow, I never knew about this relationship between wasps and figs before! That’s cool AND terrifying, just how I like my science. 🙂 It’s also kind of a non-horrific version of those wasps that lay their eggs in living spiders so that their newly-hatched young can burrow out through the spider’s flesh.

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