Friday, July 31, 2009

Dancing with the Clownfish

You may recognize the clown anemonefish or clownfish because of its bright orange color and three white stripes. Or you might recognize it from the movie Finding Nemo. This clownfish is named after the sea anemones in which it inhabits. A layer of mucus surrounding the fish’s skin protects them from the anemones’ poisonous sting. To become comfortable amongst the anemones, the clownfish performs a ritualistic dance with an anemone before deciding to live there. In exchange for protection and food scraps, the clownfish scares off intruders and removes unwanted parasites.

Bonus Fact: All clownfish are born male. They can change sexes; however, they only do when they want to become the dominant female of the group because the change is irreversible.

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