Frenemies Phenomena in Animals

Do you realize, my dear friends that many animals’ phenomenon that occurred among this wild animal. From deadly virus (which also occurred in human) that threatened the life of animals species, and some other physical and mental health diseases. Not to mention others stuff that only occurred in particular species such as the dolphins that often stranded on beach, homosexual and bisexual that apparently also embraced by some animals such as bonobos, penguins, giraffes, bottlenose dolphins, bats, and domestic sheep.

Yes, animals was full of surprise and every single day they shocked us with their ability that sometime we’re thought that only human are able to perform. For the example is the ability of marmoset monkey to learn new dialect in social relationship. I guess, the phrase that say anything could happen is truly true – don’t forget that the world is kept evolve through the time, included all the living creatures inside of it (included us, human). From all the phenomenon that happened on animals’ lives, there’s one among other phenomenon that – I don’t know how could this happen to animals.

What kind of phenomenon? It’s called as frenemies. What is frenemies and how these frenemies phenomena in animals happened? Today’ article would be dedicate to discuss explicitly about this new phenomena in animals. So, stay in you place and don’t go anywhere, my dear friends!


People, first may I ask you: did you know what frenemies are? Here is the explanation of frenemies: are the oxymoron and portmanteau of friend and enemy to one of your friend. This relationship was happened between individual that both characteristics of friend and enemy are combined, despite all the rivalry and dislike that might they feel to each other individual. This phenomenon occurred in many cases of people relationship, but when we heard that this also occurred among animals? Who can imagine that?

It’s a complicated emotion feeling that we though only human that able to produce it – guess what, the reality this is totally wrong. In animals’ social network this potentially happen. Let me first explain some types of frenemies that happened among the relationship:

  • Undermining or Unfiltered Frenemy: this types or person is the one that would not doubt to insult others, crack some of sarcastic jokes toward his or her friends. Some of them even did not doubt to disclose secrets in public.
  • Competitive Work Frenemy: generally, this was the competition that occurred in work (mostly in the same places of offices). S/h might be wish the best for other people and try to make the impression that s/h support one particular person; but, in reality they wished all the good for them only.
  • One-sided Frenemy: is occurred if the attention of one people to another individual was only for a favor. This person did not interest and care of other individual life and only needed the person when they need a favor. Yes, this is one of the most common frenemy that happened among people relationship.

There are others types which I can’t mention in this article (it would be very long list). But, yes, the conclusion is most of the time frenemies relationship was classified as toxic relationship.

Frenemy in Animal, is that Possible?

Frenemies phenomena in animals are called as frenemy. The term that had been used for animals are dear enemy effect. Dear enemy effect was an ethological phenomenon between two neighborhoods of animals’ territorial which would be less aggressive once the territorial was well-established in both sides. This condition where the one side of the territory’ owner is accustomed to the neighbor which over the time, the owner’ energy and time would less focusing again on the defensive behaviors toward each other.

But, note this, the aggressive behaviors would still the same toward unfamiliar neighbors. Apparently, there’s a function behind this phenomenon: to increase individuals’ fitness of expressing their behaviors. Let’s look some examples dear enemy effect on several animals’ species:

  • Mammals: Eurasian beavers would perform two ways choices on unfamiliar neighbors: first, they would sniff their castoreum, and then the beavers would anal gland secretion longer than what they did to neighbors. They would not doubt to show aggression toward the unfamiliar ones.
  • Reptiles: the male of tawny lizard which already performed repeat interaction with familiar rivals would slowly reduce the aggression levels toward the rivals. But, just as the same as mammals, it would exhibit aggression towards unfamiliar ones.
  • Birds: in birds, some species of birds would exhibit aggression toward strangers’ played back sounds than their neighbors’ songs (this occurred in played back study). For the example: male little owls would give the response for played back song of their neighbors in usual location – but, if it happened in unusual location it would be the same as strangers’ played back songs.