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Characteristics

Surname: Puffer fish
Latin name: Tetraodontidae
class: Fishes
size: 3 - 120cm (depending on the species)
mass: ?
Older: 2 - 8 years
Appearance: depending on the species
Sexual dimorphism: No
food: Crustaceans, clams, worms
distribution: worldwide along the equator
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Salt water
natural enemies: /
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: ?
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Threatened
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the puffer fish

  • Pufferfish describe a genus divided into almost two hundred species within the spiny fins.
  • They are native to tropical waters along the coasts of Central and South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and India, where they populate coral reefs and seagrass beds. Most species are found in the tropical seas, but some puffer fish also live in brackish or fresh water.
  • This fish, which penetrates its physique, owes its name to its ability to blow out spherically in an excited state. This is done by special muscles that pump water into the stomach until the body inflates under high pressure.
  • In case of danger the puffer fish pumps the water intermittently out of its mouth, thereby defeating attackers.
  • Pufferfish are extremely shy, but when threatened, they can inflict severe injuries to attackers with their sharp teeth.
  • With its powerful teeth, the puffer fish can easily crack the hard shells of its prey, which are predominantly crawfish, shells or coral. Worms and sponges also serve puffer fish as important food sources. He lays animals hidden in the sand by intermittently pumping water.
  • The puffer fish is one of the most poisonous sea dwellers ever, which is due to its neurotoxin tetrodotoxin. This is detectable in high concentration mainly in the skin, ovaries, gonads, in the intestine and in the liver of the animals. Tetrodoxin causes severe paralysis, which, when fully conscious, leads to respiratory arrest and suffocation or heart failure, and eventually death if left untreated.
  • Puffers do not use their poison for food, but only for defense.
  • Tetrodoxin is not produced by the fish itself but by bacteria that enter the body via the food chain. These bacteria live in close symbiosis with certain species of algae that feed the puffer fish. However, the organism of the puffer fish is able to transport the poison produced by the bacteria to the required places.
  • At spawning time, the concentration of the poison is highest, and this may vary greatly from specimen to specimen. Researchers suspect that the poison significantly increases the chances of survival of eggs and larvae.
  • The puffer fish is a coveted delicacy in Japan, although its deadly poison with wrong preparation always costs people their lives. Approximately 10,000 people are estimated to have died of puffer fish meals within a century.