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Which of the following is an example of parasitism?

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Which of the following is an example of parasitism?

A. a squirrel living in an abandoned nest of a bird

B. mistletoe growing on an orange tree

C. fungi growing on a dead tree branch

D. cattle egrets taking ticks from the body of cattle




Parasitism involves a relationship between two organisms where one of the organisms benefits from harming the other. This harm is usually direct bodily harm.

Now for the right answer to the above question:

  1. Option A is incorrect; the squirrel did not inflict bodily harm to the bird
  2. Option B is correct; a mistletoe growing on an orange tree will suck up water and nutrients from the tree, thereby inflicting harm.
  3. C is incorrect; the tree branch is already dead; this kind of association is saprophytic.
  4. D is not the correct answer; one party is benefitting; the other is not harmed.
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You may please note that:

  • Parasitism must involve harm usually done to one party.

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/ culled from 2015 JAMB-UTME biology past question 29 /

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