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What are the adaptations of clown fish?

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Quick Answer

Clownfish have developed many different adaptations, with the most famous one being their resistance to sea anemone stings, which allows them to live safely within the anemone's tentacles without being stung. Other clownfish adaptations include their ability to detect the right species of anemone host using olfactory stimuli; their rounded caudal fins that allow them to dart away from predators quickly; and their bright colors, which serve as a warning.

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Full Answer

A clownfish's bright orange and white colors warn other fish to stay away, but clownfish can also bleach their skin at night, which camouflages their color and allows them to hide better within the anemone's tentacles.

Clownfish are able to live safely within an anemone's tentacles due to the special mucus they have on their skin, which shields them from the anemone's stings; however, clownfish first must gradually touch the tentacles on various parts of their bodies to build up a resistance to that particular species of anemone. It is thought that clownfish are only immune to one species of anemone at a time, and they need to rebuild their resistance if they don't come into contact with that species for a period of time.

One other adaptation is that all clownfish are born male, with only the most dominant fish in a group becoming the female. If the female dies, the dominant male of the group then becomes the female, which helps to ensure the survival of the species.

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