Clown Fish Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Lauren Scott

Lauren has a Master's degree in special education and has taught for more than 10 years.

This lesson will introduce you to the colorful clown fish. You will learn about the unique lives of these bold little fish, including the special way they make their homes.

An Undersea Adventure!

You're the captain of your very own submarine on your way to a coral reef! Sinking below the waves, you spot a rainbow of colorful corals and fish. Slowly, you approach a huge sea anemone swaying in the current. Just as you're about to move on, you see a tiny fish poke its head out of the sea anemone's tentacles. Wait a minuteā€¦aren't sea anemones venomous? Shouldn't that little creature be lunch? Fortunately for your fishy friend, he or she is a clown fish, also known as an anemone fish. These bright, colorful, wriggly critters are safe and happy in their sea anemone home.

Clown Fish Features

Clown fish are small, colorful fish with big attitudes. Scientists have named almost 30 different species of clown fish, but most of them are known for orange, white, and black coloring. Adult clown fish only grow to about 3 inches in length, but don't let that fool you. They aren't afraid to defend their territories!

Clown fish are known for their bright colors.

Clown fish are omnivores, meaning they eat both animal and plant matter. They may eat algae, small shrimp, and zooplankton, which are tiny floating animals.

The Life of a Clown Fish

Clown fish live in warm coral reefs near Australia and Asia, and around small islands in the Pacific Ocean. They always live in sea anemones. A large sea anemone may house up to a dozen clown fish, but there is only one breeding pair per anemone. All clown fish start out as males. One clown fish in the anemone starts to take charge, and turns into a female. The next most dominant (or bossy) fish becomes her mate. If the female clown fish dies, the dominant male turns into a female, and another male becomes the mate. This way, they always have a breeding pair to lay eggs.

The female clown fish lays many tiny eggs. Both parents take care of them.
clownfish eggs

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