Meet Carl the Clownfish!

animals education fish

C is for Clownfish
Conservation Status:
Unknown

Hi! I’m Carl the Clownfish. I’m a Common Clownfish, but there’s nothing common about me!

I live within the tentacles of a venomous anemone on coral reefs. Living in an anemone can be tricky business.

Before I could live with my anemone friend, we had to get comfortable with each other. I gently touched his tentacles over a period of several hours with my fins and body. This helps form a thick mucus - kind of like snot - on my body that protects me from the stinging tentacles of my friend. That stinging is how he captures other fish to eat, but thanks to my mucus it doesn’t bother me! 

In return for my friend’s protection, I remove parasites and chase away other fish that may eat him. Sometimes I even have to chase away divers. It’s a great friendship for both of us!

I like to eat undigested leftovers from my friend, plankton, and algae, though sometimes when I go out for plankton and algae I have to leave my friend. Things can get a little dangerous then. Bigger fish can snack on me while I’m unprotected, so I make sure to eat fast!

Did you know that all clownfishes are born as males? As we grow, some of us turn into females! 

I like to spend time with my anemone friend, playing hide and seek in his tentacles. What games do you play with your friends?

You can take Carl home with you!


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