Finding Nemo - Vian Public Schools

A great way to learn concepts about Life Science
(C.S. 3.1; 3.2; 4.3)
 Nemo & Marlin belong to one of about 27 species of
clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
 They are small and brightly colored
 Clownfish are often sheltered by an anemone with
whom they have a symbiotic relationship
 Humans actually take them for their saltwater
aquariums because they are so beautiful
 They are omnivores. They feed on small invertebrates
that might harm the anemones. They also survive on
the leftovers of sea anemones' food which include
other fish and shrimp. Other than that, they feed on
algae, plankton and mollusks
The living together
of unlike organisms
Symbiotic relationships
A close, longterm relationship between two or more different species.
They help each other
 The clownfish eat leftovers from fish consumed by
anemone, planktonic crustaceans, and algae
 Clownfish also eat the dead tentacles of their host
 The anemone provides
protection & a home for
the fish
Clownfish eggs
 Did you notice how many eggs Marlin & Coral had in
the nest?
Eggs are usually laid in large batches
Usually near and sometimes within the host anemone
The large number ensures that at least a few of the
species will survive
How many offspring survived from Marlin & Coral?
Reproducing so many eggs is a
species survival strategy
Animals that usually have a high egg production count
usually have a MANY predators feeding on their young
as an easy meal
Some species of
Sea turtles lay over
300 eggs to only have a few
Each egg has its own genetic code-
Some amphibians lay tens of
thousands of eggs
 So the more eggs a species lays- the better chance of
survival for their young and their gene pool to be
 The more diverse a species- the better chance of its
survival if current conditions change
 Having many young and “dispersing” them over a wide
area so that some will survive to carry on the species
Nemo’s stripes
We call this a disruptive pattern
in Science. It breaks up the outline of a fish
and makes it harder for predators to see it
Weird fact!
 All clownfish are born males but can later change into
a female fish, in order to spawn. When a female in the
shoal dies, the most dominant male takes its place by
changing its sex.
Pacific Blue Tang
Paracanthurus hepatus
 A member of the surgeonfish family
 They were given this name because they actually have
sharp, moveable spines on both sides of their tails that
were thought to resemble surgeon scalpels
They eat only algae
Loggerhead Sea Turtles
 They can reach over 1000 pounds
 General lifespan of 30 to 50 years for most
Tons of eggs……..
 Loggerhead’s eggs are laid throughout the summer in
shallow pits dug in open beaches
 After laying the eggs females cover them with sand and
Innate sense of home
 They travel the breadth of the Pacific Ocean
 Travel along the ocean currents
A threatened species
 Drown in fish nets
 Raccoons, cats, dogs, & other land animals prey on
their eggs
 Human land development harms them by taking away
the beaches and confusing the innate directional
signals of the hatchlings
Mr. Johansen
 Any physical feature that allows an animal to blend
into its environment
Corals are also predators that sit
still and wait for their prey
They have tentacles
that have poison that kills
or injures its prey and draws
it into the corals mouth
 There are as many different strategies for catching prey
as there are predators in the ocean
 Markings on various body parts that look like eyes
which take attention away from the fish’s head
Adaptations to be successful
Can you think of others?
They must also have a source of prey
chemical combat
trickery (false features & mimicry)
How does a predator help
the species of prey?
 Killing the sick animals
 Picking off the injured
 Thins the population
 More food for the healthy animals
 Why is Marlin so protective of Nemo in the movie?
 What is wrong with Nemo?
 Why?
 How does this relate to the theory of natural selection
we have learned about in class?
Charlotte Trotter
Vian Middle School
8th Grade Life Science
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