Sea Anemones and Clown fish

There are so many intriguing things in the Red Sea, such as symbiotic or commensal relations between two unrelated species.

One such relation that I was able to capture on film, is the sea anemones and the clown fish.

The anemones are animals from the same broad family as the corals, except that they have no calcified skeletons. All their body is formed of soft tissue. There is a base that fastens them to the substrate (dead coral or rocks), and then tentacles surrounding the mouth. The tentacles have sting cells in them, similar to those of the many other marine invertebrates, such as coral and jellyfish. If a small fish approaches, it is stung, and can become dinner for the anemone.

One fish has adapted to living in the tentacles of the anemone. They develop a resistant coating as young fish, and can hide from predators among the stinging tentacles.

Here is a photo of the sea anemones, with the clownfish living in it, with its conspicuous broad white and orange stripes.

A colony of sea anemones with some clown fish living in it.

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