Are Clownfish Really Funny?

When you see or hear the word Clownfish, does it remind you of the colorful Clownfish in the movie Finding Nemo? which is by the way the ultimate star of the movie.

When Finding Nemo film become an absolute hit, the wants for Clownfish as pets tripled. Kids go crazy on this delightful cheery movie that shows courage and love. So, why are these pretty bright orange and white-striped fish called Clownfish?

Are they really funny? Let's find out.

Script from Finding Nemo

BILL: Hey, you're a Clownfish. You're funny, right? Hey, tell us a joke.

BOB/TED: Yeah, yeah. Come on, give us a funny one.

MARLIN: Well, actually, that's a common misconception. Clownfish are no funnier than any other fish.

BILL: Aw, come on, clownie.

TED: Yeah, do something funny.

BOB: Yeah!

MARLIN: All right, I know one joke. Um, there's a mollusk, see? And he walks up to a sea, well he doesn't walk up, he swims up. Well, actually the mollusk isn't moving. He's in one place and then the sea cucumber, well they--I mixed up. There was a mollusk and a sea cucumber.

None of them were walking, so forget that I--

Marlin fails to tell a joke about the mollusk and the sea cucumber. He was exasperated that all of the other sea creatures expected him to be funny just because he's a Clownfish.

Well, if you meet a Clownfish, don't pressure it to crack a joke like what other sea creatures did to Marlin.

Marlin trying to crack a joke
Marlin trying to crack a joke

The fact that they were called Clownfish is because they tilt and bob away when they swim and not because they have a great sense of humour. And also for a fact that their cheerful colors - bright orange and white stripes - are the main colors of a clown.

Fun Facts about Clownfish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion percula

There are 28 known species of Anemonefish and the most popular one is the orange and white-striped Clownfish.

Clownfish are small, only four inch long (10 cm long), bright orange and striped fish that shelters in sea anemones.

They tend to live in shallow waters and coral reefs off the coast of Southeast Asia, Australia, Western Pacific Ocean as well as on the Red Sea. Their lifespan estimated to be around six to ten years only.

Clownfish are sometimes called "Anemonefish" because it shares an amazing partnership and close relationship with anemones which also benefits both of them.

This is called Symbiosis, which describes the special relationship these two sea creatures have.

Clownfish & the Sea Anemone

They help each other survive in the ocean by giving protection and helping each other.

The Clownfish lives on its tentacles which protects them from other predators because Anemones have tentacles that stings, though Clownfish are not really bothered by them because of its layer of slimy mucus on its skin that makes them immune to the sting.

Aside from the protection, the Anemones provide the Clownfish with food.

The Anemone, on the other hand, benefits from Clownfish because it the nibbles away parasites that bugs the Anemones.

They also clean away fish and algae leftovers from their host. And most of all, they give Anemones a better water circulation by fanning their fins while swimming.

Clownfish eggs
Clownfish eggs


Like people, male also courts the female Clownfish. Their courting behaviour would include chasing, extending fins and biting. The spawning season is year-round on tropical waters.

All Clownfish are born males but under certain conditions, this male will turn into a female.

Amazing, right? Why these changes?

Once the female dies, the largest male will change sex. Once the male becomes a female, this is already irreversible, meaning they cannot change back again to being a male.

They only change sex to become the dominant female on their group.

For example, a dominant breeding female leaves or dies, the largest male in the group will change to female.

Within their group, there is only one breeding female and one breeding male.

Cute little baby clownfish
Cute little baby clownfish

After mating and the female is now ready to lay eggs, she swims to the nest the male Clownfish prepared, in the male's Anemone.

It will pass to the nest and each time, she releases eggs. The process will lasts about two hours and around 100 to more than 1000 eggs will be released to complete the process.

The protector of the eggs is the male one but is also protected by the host Anemone.

It will take about a week for these eggs to be hatched and when they do, they are now called the larvae, which will spend a week on the surface of the ocean just floating and feeding on planktons - those microscopic animals and plants.

Then within 12 days, these tiny Clownfish will sink to the sea floor and will begin their search for their own host Anemone.

And the cycle goes on.

© 2012 Mycee. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 30 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That was really fascinating! I didn't know about their relationship with anemones and I didn't know they were all born male. Very cool stuff my friend. Thank you for the education on this Friday night!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

Hi Spy,

What a delighful, yet oh so informative hub. Very interesting facts about the Clownfish, and they are so beautiful in color!!! Excellent hub. I know my granddaughters would love that movie, as we have not seen it yet.

Voted Way Up across the board.

In His Love, Faith Reaper

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Larry Wall 4 years ago

Apparently you were not clowning around when you wrote this. Well done, as always.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Awesome hub! My kids all love the Finding Nemo movie, and its great that the film actually hinted at the unique relationship between clownfish and anemones. Rated up and sharing!

Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Awesome hub, interesting and humorous. I didn't know about them all being born as males, fascinating. They are certainly beautiful fish.

Voting up and across the board.

Lord De Cross profile image

Lord De Cross 4 years ago

Interesting facts along with little Nemo. Colorful enough to see the movie again. Great idea for a hub Unknown Spy. Thanks for taking your time in creating this cute article!

Arielqiao profile image

Arielqiao 4 years ago

Wow,I know nothing about this cute creature before.It is colorful and beautiful indeed.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Hi Spy! Well, aren't you a wealth of interesting info!? This was very educational. I'm usually a good student. Let me see if I got this right, OK?.......So the clown fish are all born male (like Adam was) and then at some point, a clown fish removes the brain from another, and becomes a female...(like Eve)...right, so far? (Do not believe that old story about the "rib," was not a rib.) Once one becomes female, she cannot return to being male, because she knows she is now as good as it gets.....After mating, she gets to rest while the males work. The male are the protectors of the eggs. At some point, the female dies or leaves the hubby with the kids.....who can blame her?

Great! I love it. I hope I score 100 on my critique. I knew there was a reason why I loved, "Finding Nemo," so much!....UP+++

Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Clown fish are beautiful, thank you for writing this hub. You helped me learn a lot today. I knew nothing about them, excepts the beauty.

Voted up.

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi my friend m. very interesting and informative hub about the clownfish, much of it i did not know. Thanks for helping me learn more about this subject. Well done !

Vote up and more !!! SHARING !

writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

We used to have a double tank that each tank was joint by tubes top and bottom it was cute to the fish swim through the tubes with clown fishes and plenty other salt fish.

Great hub.

Voted up and funny, Joyce.

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ignugent17 4 years ago

made me laugh :-))). Thanks for the informtion about clownfish. I even wonder why they are called like that and cutie is more appropriate for them.

Enjoyed youe hub. :-)

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

Well those are adorable and the eggs even more so! Thanks for the interesting info.

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

You are a natural teacher ... This was a fascinating and fun read.

Voted UP and across the board. Hugs, Maria

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for sharing. This was a beautiful and well put together hub.

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up. Author

Thanks for reading about the marvellous and pretty little orange and white-striped clownship. i love nemo :)

Appreciate all your comments guys!

@billy, faith, larry, step, rosemay, joseph, ariel, fpherj48, michele, tom, joyce, meldz, jackie, maria, mhatter :)

Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Clown Fish facts are interesting. Enjoyed reading about them. Symbiosis another wonderful aspect of how creatures benefit from one and another and live in harmony. Great hub.

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up. Author

you got it right my dear vellur! hugsss. thanks you for the message.

agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

Wow great information about clown fish.

Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

The clownfish is beautiful and your article so interesting - loved this thank you!

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Wonderful information. Prior to this, I had no knowledge of the life of the clownfish, just what it looked like.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I always have enjoyed seeing this fish at the aquarium. The movie really made them popular. I enjoyed your opening to this hub. Good post and full of educational value.

Lipnancy profile image

Lipnancy 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

I just love Clown fish. It is so funny my sister in law has a clown fish with one fin smaller than the other. The man in the store did not want to sell it to her because he thought he was cheating her. But she insisted that she wanted him.

shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

Spy - You never disappoint when coming up with an original and creative hub subject. The relationship between these vibrant colored clown fish and anemones is a perfect example of why we need to protect natures delicate balance. One relies on the other, take one away and the entire delicate chain is affected.

Another fantastic write my friend.

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up. Author

@Agusfanani, Lesley, Deb, Dianna, Nancy, Beckie:

Thank you so much my friend for reading and enjoying this clownfish hub.

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

Great subject, Spy. I love clown fish. Coupled with the sea anenomes they put on a brilliant show. I was unaware of the sex change thing, tho. Interesting!

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up. Author

Thank you Sha!! clownfish is really an interesting subject

GlstngRosePetals profile image

GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

Very interesting I had no idea that clown fish changed sex to be the dominant female that’s one I have never heard of. Awesome hub and entertaining! Voted up!!

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up. Author

Thank you again rose petals. yeah, isnt it interesting?

CrazedNovelist profile image

CrazedNovelist 3 years ago from Hampton, GA

This is so awesome, Myz. Very well written and an interesting topic. I did not know any of this about clownfish. So kudos for teaching me something new. So glad to read this and look forward to seeing you around!


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