Prickly poisonous porcupinefish or balloon fish source of fugu - Stock Image

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This porcupinefish may be an example of the taxidermist's art, but in this case it is filled with air. Four 'teeth' at the mouth give this order of fishes the name Tetradontidae. These teeth deal with the natural prey of pufferfishes, which are molluscs and crustaceans.

"Four-tooth" fishes include examples with names that include pufferfish, puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab. They are closely related to the porcupinefish, which have large external spines. All these fish are slow-moving and a natural target for predators. However, once one of these prickly specimens has inflated inside its mouth, a predator learns to steer clear.

Pufferfish may be the second-most poisonous vertebrates in the world, after the golden poison frog. Organs such as the liver and skin can be highly toxic due to an accumulation of tetrodotoxin, a neurotoxin.

Some countries that enjoy cookery-on-the-edge will eat pufferfish, after it has been specially prepared, at which time the meat is considered a delicacy (even if still potentially lethal). Japan has its 'fugu', Korea its 'bok' and China its 'hetun'.

This particular porcupinefishh came from the seas around Menorca.

Similar fishes:

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