Loved watching ‘Finding Nemo’ because of the cute clownfish character?
In the movie, cute little Nemo went missing and his dad travelled half way around the world to save him.
However, Nemo could vanish again, but this time, in real-life!
Livelihood at risk
According to Phys Org
, scientists have warned that the current climate change has affected the clownfish and their mating habits.
The scientists, some from France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), have reportedly observed the species for more than 10 years around the Kimbe Island located off eastern Papua New Guinea.
Their observations revealed that clownfish are picky about choosing their mates, and they typically rely on coral for survival.
As we all know, corals are being affected by the warming weather, pollution and human intrusion.
Case in point: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change revealed
last year that if the Earth's temperature is 1.5C hotter, 70 per cent of the planet's coral reefs will die.
If it hits 2C, the coral and the vital ecosystems it supports will virtually be wiped out.
Because of that, the clownfish must adapt quickly to the change in environment, but scientists believe that it it is an extremely difficult feat.
Species under duress
It does not help that clownfish have a “very particular” reproductive cycle, dependent on a stable, benign environment.
Each clownfish anemone is home to one female fish, one sexually active male and several other males who are not sexually active.
So, when the female dies, the male would turn into a female (yep, clownfish do that) and the largest of the non-sexually active males would then become sexually active.
As you can imagine, the mating process would take a long time, and the scientists observed that the clownfish "does not have the genetic variation which will allow it to modify its reproduction method if there are environmental constraints,” CNRS told the news portal.
We hope something will be done soon, because we don’t want to lose Nemo!