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Are Clownfish Really Funny?

Updated on March 8, 2013

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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    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 

      5 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!


    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

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

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image


      5 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 imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Thank you Sha!! clownfish is really an interesting subject

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 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 imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

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

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

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 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.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 

      6 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.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 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.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 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.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

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

    • agusfanani profile image


      6 years ago from Indonesia

      Wow great information about clown fish.

    • unknown spy profile imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 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 imageAUTHOR

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      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 :)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

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

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 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

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

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

    • profile image


      6 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. :-)

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 

      6 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.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 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 !

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 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.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 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+++

    • Arielqiao profile image


      6 years ago

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

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      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!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 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.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      6 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!

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 

      6 years ago

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


    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 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!


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