Originally Posted by ZoozFishMaster
The clown is able to adapt itself chemically to mask it's presence.
Steve, I don't know if this is scientifically proven. There are so many several hypothesises (sp?) out there regarding the issue of how a clownfish protects itself.
1) Hypothesis of camouflage: clownfish smear themselves with anemone mucus and is not recognized by the anemone.
2) Hypothesis of inert mucus: clownfish mucus is an inert substance that fails to evoke nematocyst discharges.
3) Hypothesis of thick mucus: clownfish mucus thickens upon entering an anemone and the thick mucus prevents it from being stung
4) Hypothesis of customized mucus chemistry: clownfish decrease the synthesis of substances within its mucus that excite nematocysts
5) Hypothesis of innate protection: juvenile clowns are not stung when they enter an anemone because the tentacles cannot adhere to them
No doubt, clownfish posess some amazing characteristics that enable them to survive within the stinging tentacles of anemones and some scientists believe that how clownfish do this varies from species to species.
Your right, there is still no scientific proof as to how this is accomplished by the clown and in fact other members of the damsel family. The one thing I would suggest looking at is the main commonality in each one of your sentences above. Would that not strongly support a chemical chemical relationshop ar at the very least imply one?
I am still gonna argue with you about the clownfish not providing any real benefits to the anemone. How can you explain that in waters where clownfish have been over collected, the population of the anemones decreases (according to Joyce Wilkerson in "Clownfishes)?
Always question what you cannot support, that's why we are here.
Personally I have never read the book so I have no frame of reference to what you are speaking. As far as a direct causal effect between the fish collection and what Joyce Wilkerson cited as decreasing anemone populations, again this is an annecdotal observation. Sometimes that is all we have, at least for the time being.
Unfortunately in reply I can only offer you more of the same, anecdotal observation. I agree there would be a relationship in the collection of the fish and her reported decline of anemones but not for the reason implied. It's not the lack of relationship between clown and host, it's between man and his environment. Up until very recently (the last 2 years) collectors for the hobby have operated in a very damaging way. Often killing more than they capture, many still doing so. The one thing to remember here is that anemones are not true reef animals and typically inhabit just outside the reefs or in lagoonal areas. This puts them somewhat in the geography of "fishing" areas.
In many countries fish are captured with nets, dredges and even more popular, explosive reprocussion as well as the polution created by boats. Not to mention the actual collection of hobby species where cyanide was and still is widely used. Think for a moment about a man trying to feed his family who's only resource is catching and selling wild animals. If a fish happens to inhabit a host and that host becomes damaged in the collection process, I doubt the collector would think twice about it. It would greatly sadden you to see what poverty has driven some to in this regard.
, it's not the lack of a relationship that would be the cause here, it's mans interactions.