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Nature

Clowning in the Danger Zone

clown fish
anemone
Photo by Julio Camelo on Pixabay

Clown fish can be found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Red Sea and on the Great barrier Reef of Australia.

The amazing fact is that anemones eat small fish ! But why don’t they eat the clown fish?

The clown fish has a mucus layer that is about four times as thick as that found on other fish. However, the anemone doesn’t appear to try to sting the clown fish and this may be due to the fact that unlike other fish that fall prey to the anemone, the clown fish does not try to eat the tentacles.

The clown fish has a symbiosis relationship with the anemone, meaning they both benefit from the relationship. The clown fish attracts other fish with its bright colors (which provide food for the anemone) and helps to keep the anemone free of parasites. In return the anemone provides protection from clown fish predators.

Another interesting fact is that all clown fish are born males and the dominant fish in a group is a female. When something happens to the female another male changes to a female, but cannot ever change back to a male.

Clown fish live up to about 10 years and lays between 100 and 1000 eggs and can spawn every 14 days ! The eggs hatch in about 8 to 10 days and like most fish species, the young are likely to be eaten by their parents if they aren’t careful !

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