There is a growing body of evidence that illuminates just how deeply and complexly interconnected organisms are to one another. As scientists uncover these interdependencies, we’re beginning to see how fundamentally different our world would be without symbioses. We would not have the forests of today with mycorrhizal connections running through the soil, we would not have cows, termites, or rabbits without the powerful digestive processes of bacteria, and we wouldn’t even have multicellular life if not for symbiotic bacteria that power photosynthesis (chloroplasts) and metabolism (mitochondria). Many of these lasting interactions across species lines are beneficial to both organisms involved (symbionts), but in the everlasting evolutionary arms race to survive long enough to produce offspring, organisms have devised endless adaptations to exploit other species. Welcome to the Single Acorn.
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