Clownfish

Clownfish and anemone

The clownfish, popularly known as “Nemo,” has a mutualistic relationship with sea anemones. The anemone functions as a safe nest that protects the clownfish from predators, while the clownfish cleans off parasites and leftover algae from the anemone. The clownfish also increases water circulation for the anemone by swimming around and fanning its fins.

Clownfish are immune to the anemone’s lethal sting because of the mucus coating their skin. Because of this, the anemone doesn’t recognize the clownfish as prey and does not fire its nematocysts (stinging cells).

Mucus coating… hmm?

Yes, sea hares also have a sticky mucus coating to deter predators.

What would happen if an anemone tried to eat a sea hare? Well, actually, giant green anemones are known to capture a sea hare, consume most of it, and then regurgitate the toxic remains. Sounds like one gooey battle.

~Adlysia

 

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