Let me ruin Finding Nemo for you before we dive too deep into clownfish. when the alpha female is killed, in this case Nemo's mom Coral, the next in line dominant male, Marlin will change sex permanently to fill in the role of the alpha female. Because of this sex change the new alpha female will end up mating with some of her own children. To put it plainly, because Coral died Marlin would become alpha female and then mate with Nemo to keep the school alive and thriving. Let that sink in.
Now that you're nice and traumatized, Clownfish, although a small part of the ecosystem, are just as important as all the rest of our marine animals. There are more than 30 species of clownfish found in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Although the clownfish are not endangered or even threatened their habitat is. In the last generation we have lost 15% to 30% of our world's reefs putting not only the beloved clownfish in danger but the rest of the world as well. Acidification and pollution are the main culprits, killing the young before they even hatch.
Even though clownfish are not the most exciting fish in the sea to learn or read about, they still hold a very important role just like everything else. So it is important to protect our mother earth so she may allow us to continue to live here.
Fun Fact: Clownfish are not born immune to the toxins that the sea anemone puts out, it is believed they build a tolerance for it starting when they are young. They also do not exclusively live in sea anemones.
“Clownfish Living in Sea Anemone Video.” Clownfish Living with Sea Anemone Hosts - YouTube Video, https://trishansoz.com/trishansoz/great-barrier-reef/clownfish-living-with-sea-anemone-video.html.
“Clownfish.” Ocean Conservancy, https://oceanconservancy.org/wildlife-factsheet/clownfish/.
Douglam, et al. “Finding Nemo and Its Effect on Clownfish in the Wild and in the Aquarium TR.” Nano, 21 Apr. 2009, https://www.nano-reef.com/forums/topic/195006-finding-nemo-and-its-effect-on-clownfish-in-the-wild-and-in-the-aquarium-tr/.
Dr. Chamika. “Do Clownfish Need Anemones to Live?: What Anemone Your Clown Need.” Life Of Fish, 19 Oct. 2021, https://lifeoffish.com/do-clownfish-need-anemones-to-live-what-anemone-your-clown-need/#:~:text=Clownfish%20are%20also%20recognized%20as%20anemonefish%20because%20they,anemones%20to%20live%3F%20The%20short%20answer%20is%20No.
“Everything You Needed to Know about the Habitat of Clownfish.” Pet Ponder, 15 July 2020, https://petponder.com/clown-fish-habitat.
Inform and Protect.