If you have watched the movie "Finding Nemo", you will know exactly what a clownfish is and where they live. Lets look at some facts on this beautiful little fish.
These little fish are also called the 'anemonefish' and that is because of where they live. They will be found living inside an anemone. Anemones catches other small fish, but it does not harm the clownfish, so this fish is safe from predators living here.
Even if we think of the orange and white fish if we hear the word 'clownfish', there are actually more than 30 species (types).
- Read more about the sea anemone here.
- Find pictures of a few different types of clownfish.
Clownfish are found in warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans including the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
The clownfish and the anemone has an 'agreement' where both of them will benefit from these fishes living here. This is called 'symbiosis'. The anemone gives the fish a safe place to hide and it will keep the predators away by catching them. The anemone benefits from having the clownfish there because it cleans the anemone and circulates the water around it and also gives it nutrients from the fish droppings. The colourful clownfish also attracts other fish which the anemone can catch.
The clownfish is covered by mucus that protects it against the stings from the anemone and he will also build up a immunity against the stings, which means it does not affect or paralyze the clownfish in the way it does the other fish.
A clownfish - depending on the species - will be anywhere from 10 to 18 cm long and you will find all different colours of yellow, red, orange and black.
The clownfish will live in a group in the anemone and all the fish that are born are males. If the dominant female (the strongest female) dies, the largest male will turn itself into a female and take over the role of the dominant female.
The females can lay up to 1000 eggs and it is the job of the male to guard it. It is necessary for the female to lay so many eggs, since a lot will not survive, because the will be eaten by predators, or the little fish that hatch. Not all 1000 will make it to adulthood.
A clownfish can live from 6-10 years.
- For fun you can watch the movie of 'Finding Nemo' again and you can also make a paper mache Nemo.