Symbiotic Cleaning Station

Oct 13, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Have you ever heard of a fish having good hygiene?

As fish roam the ocean seeking smaller fish and shrimp to eat, their mouths begin to accumulate food particles. These fish need a toothbrush, and off to the cleaning station they go! Cleaning stations are often set up by the very shrimp these fish like to eat. Fish will even line up and wait their turn to have their teeth cleaned. When it’s time, the fish will open his mouth wide, and the cleaner shrimp will scuttle inside these jaws of death. 

The cleaner shrimp will eat the bits of food from between the fish’s teeth.

Imagine shrimp crawling around on the fish’s tongue and picking off parasites and food particles. The fish will even hold its gill chambers open, so the shrimp can crawl around picking off parasites. At the end of the cleaning you would think, “Clean teeth, free meal”. Gulp, on the contrary, when the cleaning is finished, the big fish lets the cleaner shrimp back out. 

Who negotiated this truce? Who was the first brave shrimp? What if he was wrong and was eaten? How does evolution explain this symbiotic relationship? The fish and shrimp work with instincts. Where there are instincts, there must be an instinct maker. That instinct maker is God. 

(Source: Inspired Evidence – Jeannie Fulbright, Exploring Creation with Zoology, swimming creatures 2006, pp.133-134)

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