I am born male, but can change my gender to female;
I live with another sea creature whose highly toxic tentacles protect me from predators; and
I had a starring role in a movie …
I am a clownfish, or anemone fish, or, to be scientifically correct, an Amphiprioninae.
Here are some fabulous facts about everyone’s favourite, the clownfish.
- Clownfish are all born males.
- They are social fish and live in groups that are led by one dominant female.
- The second largest fish is the dominant male while all the other fish in the group are smaller males.
- The dominant male ensures the others stay small by taking the best food opportunities for himself.
- The dominant male of a group will turn female when the female of that group dies. The largest of the smaller males will then become the dominant male of the group.
- Once the change is made from male to female, they can’t go back to being male.
- Clownfish communicate by making popping and clicking noises.
- The female clownfish can lay sometimes thousands of eggs. After the eggs are laid, the male will fertilise them.
- Any damaged or infertile eggs are typically eaten by the male.