Beautiful clown fish stay safe among venomous anemones
Clown fish are the best known members of a larger group of fish that are referred to as anemone fish. They have a unique adaptation that allows them to take shelter where other fish cannot go. Anemones give of a powerful sting that packs enough venom to kill most fish. In fact, that's how the anemone captures its prey. They inject venom into any animal that comes in contact with them. This paralyzes or kills the victim so that they can be drawn in and consumed by the anemones.
Unlike other fish, clown fish may have a mucous coating that is sugar based, rather than the typical protein based mucous. This may make it difficult for the anemone to recognize the clown fish as potential food. It is also possible that the clown fish has simply developed an immunity to the stings.
This is a symbiotic relationship. The clown fish aerates the anemone with its constant movement. It also preys on parasites and small fish that would eat the anemone. The clown fish eats the dead tentacles and keeps the anemone healthy. The anemone receives the benefit of being able to eat the feces of the clown fish as well. In return, the clown fish has a perfect place to hide safely from predators. The clown fish will also feed on the scraps of food from the anemone's meals.
Clown fish are loyal to an anemone, protecting their host for most of their life.