Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Creature Feature #110: Clownfish

Popularised by Pixar film, "Finding Nemo", there are actually around thirty different species of Clownfish, all a part of the Amphiprioninae Family. These range in size from 10-18 centimetres and come in a range of bright colours: orange, yellow, red with patches of black and white. They are anemonefish, and have formed a symbiotic relationship with the sea anemone. Clownfish appear immune to the potent poison of the anemone, and make their home within it, keeping it cleared of parasites and cleaning up its excretions. In turn, the anemone protects the fish from the many dangerous predators of the reef -  and sometimes gets a free meal as part of the deal. Clownfish begin life as males, transforming into females as they mature and gain dominance. This female will only mate with one male and if she dies, then the most dominant male will gender-shift to take her place.

Which all in all, makes you really look at "Finding Nemo" in a whole new light...

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