What Are Some Clownfish Facts for Kids?


Quick Answer

A clownfish is a small orange- and white-striped fish that many small children recognize from the animated movie "Finding Nemo." In contrast to the characters in the film, clownfish are actually very territorial and aggressive and may attack other fish and even divers that get too close to their homes. Clownfish are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans as well as the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef.

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Full Answer

Clownfish have a symbiotic relationship with anemones, the sea plants in which clownfish make their homes. Clown fish use the venomous tentacles of the anemone as protection from predators and feed off the anemone's leftover meals. In return, the clownfish eat the dead tentacles of the anemone and increase the water circulation for the plant, which results in faster-moving tentacles and more food for the anemone.

A female clownfish lays hundreds or even thousands of eggs during a full moon. These eggs take 6 to 10 days to hatch. During the incubation period, the male clownfish groom and protect the eggs. In any school of clownfish, there is only one female. All fish hatch from their eggs as males but have the ability to change gender. The dominant male of the group turns into a female if the head female of the school dies.

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