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12 Adorable Animal Duos That Totally Can’t Be Real

Some pairings in life can seem too good to be true. Just like how the quarter-pound* Double Stack™ shouldn’t be in the Wendy’s 4 for $4**. At participating locations, it is.

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1. Plover Birds and Crocodiles

When most animals see the croc rear its big snout, they run. Instead, this brave bird shimmies its way into the croc’s mouth to feast, but for the croc it’s a routine dentist appointment.

2. Crabs and Sea Urchin

It may look like the carrier crab and sea urchin are cruisin’ the open seas together, but they need each other. The crab allows the sea urchin to attach to its back so it can be used as protection from its predators. For the urchin, it’s a free taxi ride to a new feeding ground.

3. Honeyguide Birds and Honey Badgers

It would make sense that the honeyguide bird and the honey badger have some shared interests to bond over. They both love them some honey! Honey badgers are brave and do whatever it takes to get honey, but the bird can’t risk the stings. So the bird spots hives, swoops down to find the badger, and chirps as it guides the badger to the beehive so they both can feast!

4. Pistol Shrimp and Goby Fish

The pistol shrimp and goby fish are basically the cutest roommates in the ocean. The pistol shrimp loves to burrow, but its eyesight is meh. To protect from predators, it shares its cozy burrow with a goby fish. The fish will alert and protect it from danger, and the shrimp will give it free rent with water and utilities included. That’s a steal!

5. Oxpecker Birds and Zebras

The oxpecker is probably, like, one of the most popular dudes in the animal kingdom. Rhinos, hippos, and zebras all rely on this little bird to keep pesky insects and other pests away from them. For the bird, he gets a free meal and gets to catch up with his super-cool friends!

6. Clownfish and Anemone

The clownfish and sea anemone are probably one of the most iconic animal duos. Sea anemone have tentacles that sting anything that approaches. However, the sly clownfish coats itself in a mucus that protects it from the toxic tentacles and allows it to scuttle inside the sea anemone for protection.

7. Ostrich and Gazelle

Best friends are supposed to look out for each other, right? That’s exactly what the ostrich and gazelle do when they graze together. See, the ostrich has great sight but bad hearing, and the gazelle has great hearing but bad sight. The ostrich keeps a lookout for predators while the gazelle listens for predators. The two tip each other off so they can nom away safely.

8. Cleaner Shrimp and Moray Eel

It may be hard to believe, but the cleaner shrimp gets its name from...cleaning! Yup, in coral reefs, they actually have cleaning stations where fish and eels can scuttle their way in, plop their fins down, and get a head-to-toe scrubbin’ from cleaner shrimps. And for the shrimps, they get a tasty meal and some good cardio in.

9. Cuckoo and Warbler Birds

It seems a bit obvious why the cuckoo bird has that name — it’s pretty dang crazy! Cuckoo birds lay their eggs in the nests of warblers, leaving them to raise their chicks. Over time, the birds have gotten wiser. Today, cuckoo eggs and even the hatchlings are so similar to warblers that they can’t tell the difference.

10. Remora Fish and Sharks

Best friends stick together, literally. The remora fish uses its suction cup like a mouth to latch onto the bottom of sharks. The fish and the shark travel together through the ocean blue. The fish gets to nibble on parasites that live on the shark, and the shark gets a free cleaning.

11. Cowbirds and Bison

Not all friendships are mutually beneficial, but they are still good! For instance, the cowbird and the bison have what is called a commensalistic relationship, meaning one benefits from the other. As the bison grazes through tall grass, it gathers insects. The cowbird follows the bison, nibbling on whatever insects may come its way.

12. Hermit Crabs and Snail Shells

Have you ever wondered how hermit crabs get their shells? Well, this voyage is another example of commensalism. Once a snail has outgrown or become bored with its shell, it will ditch it for a new shiny one. That’s when the hermit crab scuttles its way across the sea floor and snuggles into its nice new shell home.

Some of these animal duos are too good to be true, just like Wendy’s adding the Double Stack™ as an option in the 4 for $4** for a limited time. With a quarter pound* of beef, that’s a deal so good it’s pretty hard to believe.

Animation by Lyla Ribot © BuzzFeed 2017.

*Approx. weight before cooking.
**Meal includes 4-piece nuggets, small fry, and a small drink. At participating Wendy’s for a limited time. Offer not valid in Alaska or Hawaii.

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