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Clown Fish or Clown Anemonefish


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Clown fish (also called the Clown Anemonefish) are small fish that live among anemone (fish-eating animals that look like undersea flowers and have hundreds of poisonous tentacles). The anemone's tentacles kill other fish that touch them, but the Clown fish seems to be immune to its poison. Scientists think that the Clown fish may be coated with a mucous that protects it from the poison. The anemone protects the Clown fish from most predators, who know not to go near the anemone's tentacles. The clown fish helps the anemone by cleaning it (as it eats detritus) and perhaps by scaring away predators of the anemone.

Anatomy: This brightly-colored fish is orange with three white vertical stripes; the rounded fins have black margins. The Clown fish grows to be about 2 to 5 inches (5 to 13 cm) long.

Habitat and Distribution: The Clown fish lives on the sea floor amid anemone tentacles. It inhabits the warm waters of the tropical Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Diet: This fish eat the anemone's leftovers. It waits until the anemone paralyzes and eats a fish, then helps itself to bits that the anemone leaves uneaten. It also eats dead anemone tentacles and plankton.

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