These fish live nestled among the tentacles of stinging anemones. Most fishes are paralyzed by the sting of an anemone, but clownfish are covered in a slimy goo that protects them.
Clownfish are also called anemonefish. All anemonefish start life as males. As they grow, some turn into females.
Living with a fish in your tentacles has its good points. Clownfish are very protective of their anemone homes, and chase away other fish, and even divers. Anemones also get food out of the dealscraps that are dropped by the clownfishas well as fish poop.
Getting to know you
Before a clownfish
can call an anemone home, it has to get comfortable. The fish gently touches the anemone's tentacles over a period of several hours or days, until the fish forms a layer of mucus that's resistant to the stings.