Other Small Animals

Puffer fish finding his inner cat-ness

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The puffer fish has such a cute face…for a fish that is. This particular one is seen chasing a laser light, similar to a cat! I’ve never seen a fish do that before. So what exactly is a puffer fish, also known as the blowfish?

The puffer fish is found in tropical or subtropical waters. There are more than 120 known species of puffer fish. They have various colors and come in many sizes, from 1 in. all the way to 2 feet long! Amazingly unique and quirky, they got their name from their ability to puff up like a balloon. This is thought to be an adaptive measure the fish evolved into over time, used as a defense mechanism towards predators. They have highly elastic stomachs that can be stretched when they ingest large amounts of water (and air too).

Another defensive measure they have is tetrodotoxin. It is believed almost all puffer fish have this toxin, which makes them lethal to other fish but also humans. One puffer fish has enough tetrodotoxin to kill 30 adult humans! The toxin is up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. Now that is poisonous!

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In Japan, they are considered a delicacy, and although extremely deadly, they can be eaten. They have to be prepared especially carefully, and only be a chef who truly understands this fish and how to cook it. No, thanks…I’ll pass. If you’re like me, and eating this fish is just a little too risky, you can still enjoy their company and get a chuckle out of their undeniable cuteness.

 

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Callie Farr

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