Clown fish are known for spending their entire lives inside of a host anemone however, scientists have recently published a study in PLOS ONe that demonstrate how larvae of this particular aquatic species can travel up to 400 km or about 250 miles across the open ocean to find the perfect home. Prior to settling into adulthood, these baby fish must journey to find new territories suited for their needs. Because the larvae only have a short window of opportunity to traverse the ocean, the clown fish use water currents to help move the migration along (SWIM, MY FISH BRETHREN, SWIM!).
Scientists collected close to 400 tissue samples and DNA fingerprints in Southern Oman from the only two known species of Omani clown fish, or Amphiprion omanensis. Because there are only two coral reefs about 400 km away along its coast, researchers were able to track the movement between the reefs (mostly North to South due to water currents) while confirming that these migrants did indeed survive the dispersal period. There were second generation populations present in both species of Omani clown fish and according to the international study, was the furthest distance tracked as to fish larvae dispersal.
We’ve all heard about the circle of life and how we are all connected one way or another. Whether for necessity or in the case of humans, comfort, survival is based on adaptation and interaction with the environment around us. How far larvae can disperse and then flourish within their surroundings play a key role in helping scientists learn more of how species will survive in its habitat. This study is incredibly significant in the study of aquatic population dynamics because it had always been extremely difficult to document the movements of larvae in open water.
So in other words, EVERYTHING IN FINDING NEMO WAS TRUE AND ALL NEMO WANTED WAS TO DO HIS LARVAE-Y DUTIES. I knew it.
Now if you were also curious as to whether or not to see Finding Dory be sure to see what we thought in our review attached here!