The puffer fish is one of the most venomous fish on the planet. Puffer fish is a medium-sized species of fish, with a long, tapered body and a bulbous head. Also known as blowfish, globefish, swellfish, fugu and toadfish, it is scale-less and has a skin texture varying from rough to spiky. It appears similar to a large tadpole, with bulging eyes and an elongated snout. It is indeed one of the most interesting and unusual species of fish, with many unique characteristics. The puffer fish is known so, since it can puff up to double its size by swallowing air or water, when threatened. When predators unknowingly prey on these, they die of choking or get poisoned from the toxins present in the puffer fish. Puffer fish can move using their pectoral fins and they use their tails only when they are required to move fast. About 29 species of puffer fish live in freshwater and the rest survive in inshore and estuarine waters. Read through the following lines to find more interesting facts and amazing information on puffer fish.
Facts About Puffer Fish
Group Name: School
Length: 2.5-61 cm
Weight: 9-13.5 kg
Lifespan: 4-8 years
Habitat: Warmer, coastal waters.
Age of Sexual Maturity: 5 years
Gestation Period: 4 days
Number of Offspring: 3-7 eggs
Interesting & Amazing Information On Puffer Fish
- There are more than 120 different species of puffer fish throughout the world.
- Most puffer fish are found in tropical and subtropical ocean waters in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but some are also known to live in brackish and fresh water.
- About 39 species of puffer fish that inhabit marine waters swim into fresh and brackish waters to breed and feed.
- The puffer fish feeds on invertebrates, algae, clams, shrimps, crabs, mussels and shellfish.
- The dwarf puffer fish, also known as pea puffer fish and pygmy puffer fish, is the smallest species of puffer fish in the world.
- Though puffer fish are poor swimmers, they can ingest large amounts of water or air in a few seconds, to turn themselves into a virtually inedible ball several times their size, when threatened.
- Some puffer fish species have spines on their skin, to make them less palatable.
- Most of the puffer fish contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that makes them taste foul and often lethal to fish. This tetrodotoxin is 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide.
- One puffer fish contains enough tetrodotoxin to kill 30 adult humans. The tetrodotoxin has no known antidote till date.
- The Japanese prepare a delicacy called fugu, from puffer fish meat. The dish is prepared by well-trained and licensed chefs only, as one wrong cut can cause certain death for a customer.
- All puffe rfish have 4 teeth that are fused together into a beak-like form. These teeth are used to crush the shells of mollusks, red worms and crustaceans.
- Puffer fish has a unique breeding method, wherein the male guides its female counterpart towards the shore and she releases the eggs. In the eggs, the young ones are protected by the hard shell, which breaks off when they develop limbs. After the tail and fins develop, they swim down into the reef community below.
- A puffer fish stomach is extremely elastic.
- A young puffer fish is called a fry.
- Puffer fish have excellent eyesight.
- Sharks are immune to puffer fish venom.
- Puffe rfish venom is deadlier than cyanaide.
- Puffer fish make adorable pets and can adapt to aquarium lifestyle easily. They require special dietary needs and clean and spacious environment to maintain a healthy body.
- Puffer fish are threatened by habitat loss, water pollution and overfishing.
- Puffer fish do not have scales on its body.