Nemo's nightlife: Clownfish relationship with anemone deeper than first thought

By Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing



The partnership between the clownfish and sea anemone is the most-often-used illustration of a symbiotic relationship. Science has long shown us how the two count on each other for survival: the anemone's stinging tentacles protect the fish from would-be predators, while the clownfish chases away butterfly fish and even sea turtles that would like to eat the anemone.

For more than 20 years Auburn University marine biologist Nanette Chadwick has studied the relationship between these sea creatures, spending countless hours in the waters of the Red Sea, Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. In the February 2013 Journal of Experimental Biology, her team published its latest findings on how the clownfish's nocturnal movement increases the anemone's oxygen supply.

Read more:
National Geographic
Journal of Experimental Biology
BBC Nature
Live Science

Last Updated: Apr. 4, 2013

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