Finding Nemo

Clown fish are found on the offshore islands of north-western Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

Clownfish are typically very bright, orange fish that have three white stripes, one at the head, middle and tail. If you look really closely, you may notice that there are thin black lines around the white stripes. Also, the tips of their fins have a thin black rounded stripe.

Clownfish can grow to be from 2 to 5 inches long. The males tend to be significantly smaller than the females. However, there are various types of clownfish that range in colours from blue to yellow.
Clownfish live in a "symbiotic" relationship with certain anemones. This means they benefit from living with the sea anemone, and the sea anemone benefits from the presence of the clownfish. They are the only fish that are able to live in sea anemones and not get stung by their tentacles. Clownfish are very active fish and are extremely aggressive. Because they are quite active, the clownfish are thought to be "clowning around". They defend their territory and the sea anemone that they live in. Clownfish eat the leftovers from fish on the anemone and algae. The leftovers include copepods, isopods and zooplankton.

Clownfish have a few ocean predators, but their greatest threat is humans. People who catch clownfish and keep them as pets in aquariums are making a mistake. There are only ten out of more than one thousand types of anemone that are able to host these fish. Many people put the fish in a tank with the wrong anemone. In captivity, the clownfish can live from 3 to 5 years. In the wild, they live 6 to 10 years.