Diving with Nemo in Padangbai

What is special about clownfish?

Anemonefish, or more commonly referred to as clown fish, are native to the warmer waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. You can spot them quite easily when diving in Padangbai too. Thanks to the cute animated movie Finding Nemo, this little fish has become very popular and sought after even by scuba divers. But how well do you know this fish really? If you think there is not much to know about the cute little “Nemo”, here are some fascinating facts that might really surprise you.

Clown Fish Facts:

  • Mortality rate among Anemonefish is very low. Each of them can live up to 30 years. The anemones also have the same long life expectancy.
  • Clown fish have a thick layer of mucus covering their body. This layer gives them adequate protection from the poisonous anemones in which they live.
  • The swimming movement of the clown fish gives good water circulation for the anemones. In return, the anemones provide protection against predators to the clown fish. Anemones also feed on the leftovers of clown fish meals from time to time.
  • When predators are approaching their habitat, clown fish make noisy sounds with their teeth. The noisy sounds are warning alarms for the anemones and they will sting the fish that come too close to their area.
  • Yellowtail Clown Fish are a member of the Anemonefish family, however they are more aggressive and very territorial. It is not so uncommon that they will bite a diver in their finger if they come too close.
  • A school of clown fish living in an anemone maintains a strict social order. A breeding female is at the top of the hierarchy followed by a breeding male. The other non-breeding clown fish are related (siblings), but they are usually smaller.
  • Every non-breeding clown fish can only move up the hierarchy when the more dominant member dies.
  • Clown fish are protandrous hermaphrodite, meaning they are born and grow up as male but they change sex as they grow older to become dominant breeding females. When a breeding female dies, the largest male turns into a female and claims the vacant position.
  • Despite their long life expectancy, clown fish rarely wander too far from anemone. They mostly stay within 100 meter distance from their habitat.

We have been meeting this agile little fish daily when diving in Padangbai, however we must honestly admit that we too have learned something new about them when preparing this article. How about you? How many new facts have you learned? Or have you already known everything? Feel free to comment below the aticle.

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