To know their animal teachers more fully, people should study how these animals relate to other animals. All animals live in ecological systems where they have a role. Some are keystone species such as the alligator, who makes “gator holes” that provides food and homes for the other animals. Other animals contribute positively to the places that they live in. Stag beetles eat dead trees to make soil. “Negative” animals such as leeches have a role, too. They kill their host and help to keep the animal population in balance.
Some animals ignore each other, while others compete for the same
food. More importantly, many animals form special relationships. Some
are allies, and still others are in predator-prey relationships. The
wolf and coyote compete for beaver, while the ratel (honey badger) and
honeyguide look for bees together. The plover picks off leeches from a
crocodile’s gums. (The plover gets a meal, and the crocodile gets her
gums cleaned.) The great white shark pursues the elephant seal but is
prey to the orca. Animal relationships are indeed complex and varied.
Read more at Witches and Pagans: animal wisdom: animal relationships: introduction