Cleaners of the animal kingdom

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This week, we thought we could mix things up a little. Instead of our usual cleaning or painting tips, or information on facilities services, we let our Marketing Assistant and budding biologist Julia take the lead in informing you of how ‘cleaning businesses’ and biology come together. It turns out, animals all over the world become cleaners in exchange for resources such as food, shelter, protection or other things. It’s not quite the same as the whale cleaning business in the infamous animation Shark Tale, but it is still pretty awesome! Today, we are discussing just some of these incredible animals.

The brave bluestreak cleaner wrasse

Starting off under the sea with the brave blue streak cleaner wrasse. As you can see in the video above, this fish fears nothing, it also seems to sense very well when the sharks are getting impatient with the cleaning and promptly leave to find their next customer. One thing all our cleaners can learn from this mighty little fish is to be brave! Reach out to potential customers and just do your best!

The business-savvy banded coral shrimp

Perhaps one of the coolest animals ever! This shrimp can be seen cleaning for a variety of customers, ranging from eels, other fish and well, whatever is available. The best part is its clever, so-fish-sticated (we can’t get enough of these puns!) strategy to attract customers: it will display a ‘dance’ and wave about its antennae as if to say ‘Hey come to me I’m open!’. it will then remove parasites, debris, fungi or dead tissue from the fish. What’s the lesson we can learn here? Develop a good marketing strategy and customers should come flying in! – or should we say swimming?

Banded mongoose

As the video explains, almost all animal cleaning ‘businesses’ are symbiotic relationships – the biological version of our ‘tit for tat’ or in business terms – payment for service. The banded mongoose and warthog have a unique relationship based on trust – and ticks. The mongoose gains food and the warthog has a free ‘pest removal service’ and all is done quickly and efficiently. So, as you may have noticed with the precious animals, there is also a lesson to learn here: trust your customers and don’t be scared to reach out! If the mongooses didn’t feel brave and ran away they would be skipping out on an easy, tasty meal!

Red-billed oxpecker

Found in Sub-Saharan Africa, this clever bird makes the most of what other animals see as a pain. As the saying goes ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, almost all of these animals feed on ticks, parasites and creatures other animals want to get rid of. They have found a unique way to find food – especially useful where other sources are scarce. The red-billed oxpecker can eat up to 12,000 larvae a day -definitely getting the protein they need for the day! The final ‘cleaners lesson’ is not as specific to the oxpecker, but to all these intelligent animals: don’t give up and get creative! These animals have found quirky but efficient ways to find food – there is no right way to do something like this!