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General information

Puffer fishe also known as globe fish, ballon fish, blow fish and swell fish; belong to the family „Tetraodontidae“ a group of fishes which typically found in shallow waters, often on coral reefs, in beds of sea grass, and in estuaries, swimming and feeding during daylight. Their closest relatives are the similar-looking porcupine fishes (Didontidae). A majority of the species lives in the ocean, but many of those are capable of venturing into brackish or fresh water to feed. Most species occur in warm and temperate seas worldwide but there are also several species of freshwater puffers.

Puffer fish are easily recognized by their short, stout, almost bloated appearance, their small fins, and their large eyes. When the fish is threatened, however, it inflates its body by a sudden intake of a large volume of water or air. In addition to this impressive defensive tactic, most puffer fish also contain a fatally poisonous toxin called tetrodotoxin, particularly in the liver, gonads, skin, and intestine. This is one of the most potent toxins in nature and a does of 1-2 mg is enough to kill an adult human.

Puffer fishes feed on a wide range of items. Some prefer to feed almost exclusively on plankton, but the most species also prey heavily on large invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms, crabs, and worms.

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