Climate change and the Clown fish.

Clown fish are fishes that have a special relationship with anemones. These fish live among the tentacles and are protected by them from being dinner to other species. Now scientists have discovered that the clown fish may be stressed out due to a warmer ocean.

The fish live among the tentacles for protection for its eggs and itself. When warmer temperatures cause coral and anemones to bleach, things change. Algae that live inside the anemones die off and this affects the clown fish as it does not reproduce so readily.

It seems that the fish suffer because of the additional effort needed to survive in a warmer ocean. Scientists know that clown fish secrete hormones to help them cope with stress. A changing environment means more stress to the fish. The result is that their metabolic rate, the minimum of energy that is required to live, is much higher than ordinarily.

Clown fish living among bleached anemones had a higher metabolic rate than those living in anemones that were normal. Using up more energy to swim and find food will surely adversely affect the clown fish in the future as the warming of oceans continue. It is possible that the higher metabolic rates observed is only temporary. With time, the anemones could also recover or possibly the clown fish could get accustomed to warmer oceans. More studies will be required.

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