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Juvenile Clownfish Shown To Travel

3.10.2014
Juvenile Clownfish Shown To Travel

A new study shows that Clown Fish may travel before settling down into a home of their own. With the help of Disney and the movie “Finding Nemo”, the brightly color clown fish is one of the most recognized fish in the world. Just about every child over the age of three can point at it and call it Nemo.The clownfish is a shy creature whose stays close to home. Their striking color and small size attracts bigger predators looking for an easy meal. That is not always the case as clownfish make their homes between the tentacle of the poisonous sea anemone. The incoming predator may just become lunch for the sea anemone.

A study, led by Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology and Global Change in Biosciences at the University of Exeter, examined the DNA of 400 fish at two reefs off the southern coast of Oman separated by 400 kilometers. “The southern coast of Oman is relatively isolated from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula so you find a lot of species there that you wouldn't find anywhere else in the world,”said Dr Simpson. “In order to persist as a single species, we know Omani clownfish fish must occasionally migrate between these two populations.”

Clownfish

The results have lead the team to believe that a small number of newly hatch clownfish are carried from the northern reef to the southern one by the ocean currents.

“When they arrive at the reef, they are less than a centimetre long, and only a few days old, so to travel hundreds of kilometres they must be riding ocean currents to assist their migration” said Dr Simpson.

Clownfish are known to remain in one location as they grown up. They may travel a short distance to take up a new home as they start to grown, but once settled in you will rarely find them more than a half of a meter from their home. This new study gives some insight into the early development of these fish.

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