Common Clownfish

(Amphiprion ocellaris)

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Rivers of the World

Clownfish are famous for their symbiotic relationship with anemones. Anemones, related to jellyfish, have the ability to sting animals that touch their tentacles. However, clownfish have protective slime that covers their bodies so that the anemones do not sting them. The anemone therefore inadvertently protects the clownfish from other species that would otherwise try to prey on the clownfish. There are many species of clownfish, most of which have a red or orange body color with white stripes. This is a classic form of warning coloration: a color pattern that visually tells other species that they, or in the clownfish's case the anemone, are venomous and predators should stay away. Clownfish are popular home aquarium inhabitants and have become more popular due to the movie Finding Nemo.

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