16 Fun Facts About Clownfish

Articles Jul 07, 2019 04:02

Clownfish are sometimes known as anemonefish. They belong to the damselfish family and are popular in saltwater fish. Did you know that they can dance and even change their gender? Don't be so surprise with these 16 fascinating facts about clownfish.

1. Clownfish live in poison

The home of clownfish is an anemone. An anemone is a living creature too, but they are poisonous meaning clownfish live in poison. How does this happen? Well, it is a symbiotic relationship. Clownfish use the anemone as their home where they live and care for babies. Sea anemone also protects the clownfish from predators. In return, the sea anemone receives a few things from the clownfish. The clownfish will keep the anemone clean, provide nutrients in the form of waste and protect the anemone from predators.

A big reason why clownfish can survive the sting of a sea anemone is that their body is coated with mucus. Most clownfish have this mucus coating, so they are also immune to the sting of a sea anemone. If the mucus is ever removed from their body, it is believed the clownfish would no longer be protected from the sea anemone sting. The mucus is a reason why the clownfish is the only fish in the sea to not be stung by the poisonous tentacles of an anemone.

2. Clownfish can eat their poisonous homes

Not only do clownfish live in a poisonous environment, but they can also eat their poisonous homes. The tentacles of a sea anemone are poisonous, but many clownfish will feed on them with no risk. They are protected by their mucus body coating so they won’t get stung. And because of this, they can enjoy the nutrition that the sea anemone is filled with.

3. The Red Sea is home to a lot of clownfish

Clownfish are found in many parts of the world. But it comes as a surprise to many that the Red Sea is home to a lot of clownfish. Red Sea clownfish are also a subtype of clownfish as they have two distinctive stripes. Other than that small detail, the Red Sea clownfish is similar to clownfish found in other parts of the world.

4. Clownfish can change genders

All clownfish are born as males and are placed into different groups. The dominant male clownfish in a group will develop into a female. This fish is usually the largest of the group as well. Second in command to the female is the most aggressive male fish. This male fish will prevent others in the group from getting bigger and will also breed with the female clownfish.

5. Clownfish are very close to the Damselfish

Clownfish and damselfish share a lot of qualities that they can also be considered cousins. This fact might be surprising because the two fish don’t look like each other. Damselfish are primarily blue. The closeness between the two fish has caused some people to think that the character Dory in Finding Nemo was also a damselfish. But that is not true because Dory was a blue tang fish.

6. Clownfish use their bright colors to lure other fish

Clownfish are bright red and orange. They use this to their advantage by luring other small fish into their homes. When these other creatures enter the sea anemone, the anemone will give them a sting to kill them and then eat them. Their bright colors might also fend off predators because they know that bright colors mean danger.

16 Fun Facts About Clownfish

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7. Females are the dominant fish over male clownfish

Scientists and researches who have observed clownfish have noticed that female clownfish are usually the most dominant fish in a group setting. In studies done, once the dominant female fish dies or goes away, the next fish to become dominant is also a female fish. These studies have also shown that female clownfish will prevent their males from turning into females.

Female fish also tend to be larger and more aggressive than males. Body mass differences could be due to some reasons. They don’t get the same amount of food as their female counterparts do. Some males are also born without reproductive features and are smaller in body mass from the start.

8. Clownfish are hard to breed in captivity

Breeding fish in captivity is already a difficult task, especially with saltwater fish. Fish require certain qualities in their living environment to be able to breed. Clownfish are notorious for not be able to breed in captivity. If you want to breed clownfish, it can take some time, and you might never have success.

9. Clownfish have a lot of enemies

In the deep blue sea, clownfish have a lot of enemies. These enemies are your typically underwater enemies like sharks and stingrays. These larger fish like to feed on small fish like clownfish. But the clownfish at least have protection from the sea anemone that they reside in. Another enemy? Humans. I will talk a little more about this later on, but clownfish consider humans as a threat.

10. Clownfish is a popular fish to trade

It is no surprise, but clownfish are very popular. They are so popular that they make up 40% of all traded marine fish in the world. Part of their appeal is their colors. They come in bright red and orange colors with stripes. They are an appealing fish to look at. Another reason why they are so popular is their swimming behavior. Unlike most fish, clownfish swim in sideways. If you ever see a clownfish, watch how it swims compared to other fish, and you will notice a difference.

Some people have also theorized that the clownfish have become popular due to the movie Finding Nemo. While it is true that the movie helped the fish in popularity, the fish was already popular, to begin with, and was one reason why Pixar elected for a clownfish as the main character.

11. There multiple color variations of clownfish

Clownfish come in a lot of color variations. The most recognizable clownfish is orange with white stripes (like Nemo from Finding Nemo). But clownfish can be other colors as well. Black clownfish are very popular. Some clownfish are black with either white or orange stripes. They could be partially, or full black Half of their body can be black while the other half can be red or orange. There are also clownfish that are white. The white clownfish are rare, but they do exist. Despite color variations, these clownfish are mostly similar in behavior.

16 Fun Facts About Clownfish

12. Clownfish like to attack divers

Divers that have reached the underwater world may come across some clownfish. But clownfish are not a fan of divers. They will try to attack divers by getting near them. If you own a clownfish at home and put your hand in the water, they can attack you too. They will press and poke on your hand, and some can even bite your hand. Why do they attack divers? It is because they are scared. Some fish might run away, but clownfish are fearless and will do anything to protect themselves.

13. Clownfish are omnivores

Clownfish are omnivores meaning they can eat plant and meat. In the wild, they will feed on plants like algae and plankton. They will also eat worms and dead tentacles. What a clownfish eats depends on where the clownfish is located and the choices of food that are available. If you are raising a clownfish at home, it is essential to feed the same types of food that they eat in the wild.

14. Don’t capture clownfish

While most people liked the movie Finding Nemo, one of the film’s message still hasn’t resonated with some people. That message is to not capture clownfish (or any type of fish for that matter). In the film, a clownfish is captured and put into a fish tank at a dentist office. Clownfish become scared and annoyed when they are removed from their home like most fish.

15. Clownfish swim weird

When clownfish swim, it looks weird. For whatever reason, clownfish are not great swimmers. One reason for this is that they are always hiding from the outside world in their homes. When they do leave their homes, they swim oddly. They are bouncy swimmers, which is also how they got their names.

16 Fun Facts About Clownfish

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16. They make weird popping or chirping noises

If you own a clownfish at home, don’t be surprised if you hear a popping or chirping nose from your clownfish. Many clownfish will make these noises when they are in danger or feel scared. These noises can be very loud sometimes which is why you might hear them even outside of the tank. It is also true that clownfish can detect sounds. That means if you are talking outside of its tank, it might be able to hear you. But this isn’t a unique feature to the clownfish. Many fish have shown the ability to detect noise even outside of their tanks.

17. Clownfish are not clowns, they look funny

You might wonder how clownfish got their names. It is certainly not because clownfish can tell some pretty funny jokes. Clownfish got their name because they have stripes on them that resemble the colors of a clown’s face. This fact confused me at first. But clownfish certainly have intense colors and stripes on their body. Clownfish also swim funny (like mentioned before), and that probably contributes to their name as well.

18. How long a clownfish lives may surprise

A clownfish can live up to 10 years in the sea. But when they are kept in captive, they only live for 2 to 5 years. They do not do well in captivity compared to their natural homes. It is hard to emulate the natural home of a clownfish in a tank or aquarium. It is also hard to monitor how the clownfish eat and feed it the right things.

19. Some clownfish can dance

Percula clownfish are clownfish that can dance. Well, kind of. When clownfish dance, they mostly shake their bodies. Percula clownfish dance when they want to show who is dominant or impress other clownfish. The dance is mainly done by male clownfish. And they can do it at a young age or when they are older. Other kinds of clownfish can dance as well, but it is rare.

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Source: https://fishownerguide.com/interesting-clownfish-facts/

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