- SEA LIFE Oberhausen, Pirate Ship
About the Amphiprion
Clownfish belong to the group of Amphiprion: All Amphiprion are born male. The dominant, largest animal in an anemone is always the only female. If the female dies, the strongest male transforms into a female within a week. In the wild, female Amphiprion usually lay their eggs during full moon; the larvae hatch after only 6 days.
They even live between poisonous anemones, but are not hurt by them, because they let the anemone tentacles slide over their body until they are immune against the poison. With its anemone the Amphiprion lives together in a symbiosis: even if it lives in the ocean, it is not a good swimmer and therefore never strays far from its anemone, it is dependent on protection.
At the same time it can also protect the anemone by scaring its predators by swimming out when they feed.
But not all anemones enter a symbiosis with Amphiprion. Those in which Amphiprion live, however, have a very special "personal care service" - the Amphiprion removes debris, trash and parasites from the anemone.
Although anemones are more animal than plant, some actually do photosynthesis - they use sunlight to produce energy.