Now that Blue Planet II has finally begun airing, we’re starting to see a trickle of some of their best moments shared online. As much as we thought we knew about clownfish and their relationship with anemones, leave it to the BBC’s underwater naturalists to document something incredible.
In this clip we see black saddle clownfish, Amphiprion polymnus, not only move a coconut shell, but work together to accomplish this task. They moved the coconut into position specifically to have a place to lay their eggs but naturally, they’d prefer for this substrate to be close to their anemone protection.
Having actually seen coconuts nestled into large isolated clownfish-hosting anemones before, it never occurred to me that the clownfish might have moved it into position – I just assumed it was lucky for the clownfish. We know that our clownfish can show signs of intelligence but this level of cooperation is not something we ever see in aquariums.