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Clownfish are one of the most instantly recognizable fish here at Exploris due to the popular Disney film Finding Nemo. They have a unique relationship with one of the most misunderstood creatures of the ocean, sea anemones.
Sea Anemones are often confused with plants but they are actually animals and are close relations to Jellyfish than any aquatic plant.
In their natural habitats, clownfish and anemones have a symbiotic relationship. They both help each other to survive. Clownfish rely on anemones for protection from predators, while anemones rely on clownfish for food.
We recently took in new Clownfish at Exploris and they have made friends with an Anemone. A behaviour that is often called hosting, the Clownfish took to this Anemone quickly and is amazing behaviour to watch. Different types of clownfish tend to prefer living with, or hosting, different types of anemones so it can be difficult to find a “match”.
Some aquarists believe that tank-raised clownfish do not host anemones as readily as wild-caught clownfish after a few generations. The suggested reason is that their parents and grandparents have never seen anemones and therefore have lost the instinct or need for the protection from potential predators.
So with all this in mind we feel quite lucky to be seeing this behaviour up close in Exploris. Whilst the anemone isn’t that big in size at the moment, we have no doubt with the attention of the clownfish the anemone will continue to develop and flourish.
Whilst in an aquarium setting, the clownfish might not be getting as much out of the relationship as they would in the wild; we love seeing behaviours such as this. It’s one of the things that makes the underwater world so interesting.
On your next visit to Exploris spend a little extra time in the tropical zone to observe this amazing behaviour and get your own stunning picture of a brave clownfish protecting the anemone! Book online now< Aquarium News