WhyReef - Lifestyle
Clown anemonefish live with a group of other clownfish in their anemone. Anemones are animals that don’t have a skeleton inside their bodies (invertebrates). They have nematocysts, or stinging cells, that they use to catch and eat other fish. The stinging cells don’t hurt clownfish, because they have a protective slime layer that keeps them from getting stung. They live in a symbiotic, or close, relationship with their anemone. By living in the anemone they are protected from most all of their predators. In return the anemone eats scraps of food the clownfish drop, and is protected from predators like butterflyfish and turtles! Because the clownfish and anemones help each other out, their relationship is mutualistic.
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- Shedd Aquarium. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.sheddaquarium.org, version (08/2009). http://www.sheddaquarium.org/sea/fact_sheets.cfm?id=69
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