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Clowns of the Sea

Most likely named after their humorous behaviour, witnessing a Clownfish furiously defend its sea anemone home and charge at unwanted visitors, some much bigger than themselves, is an amusing addition to a dive and always good entertainment value.

Clownfish are a type of tropical reef fish found in the temperate waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The mucous membrane on the Clownfish’s skin makes it immune to the sting of the sea anemone. In exchange for protection and food, the Clownfish defends its host from unwanted intruders and removes any parasites. Clownfish inhabit a single sea anemone in groups that include the breeding male and female and a number of younger males. Once a group of Clownfish have found a sea anemone to set up home they will defend it, never straying further than 30cm during their entire lifetime.

One fascinating fact about Clownfish is that they possess sex-changing abilities. All Clownfish are born male, however they can develop female reproductive organs when needed.

Female clownfish will lay their eggs around the time of the full moon on a flat surface, close to the sea anemone in which they inhabit. The male Clownfish will then guard the eggs until they hatch, five to seven days later.

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SATSA No. 207

Hartley’s Safaris is registered with Southern Africa Tourism Association Registration number 207.


Hartley’s Safaris
South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Reg no: 2001/006019/07
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Copyright © 2016 Hartley's Safaris SA

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SATSA No. 207

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