The Pufferfish: 10 Facts You Should Know

Introduction to Pufferfish- Tetraodontidae (methodical name)

What do you know about the pufferfish or Tetraodontidae? Should you keep it as a pet? This article aims to give you detail information about this species of fish. Read on to learn more.

Pufferfish is the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world, trailing only the Golden Poison Frog that is endemic to the rain forests on the Pacific Coast of Colombia.

the Pufferfish

Biologists have faith in that pufferfish developed their extraordinary ability to inflate because its style of swimming is slow and clumsy. That makes them vulnerable to predators.

Instead of escaping, the pufferfish use its very elastic stomach and its ability to quickly ingest large amounts of water (and even air if necessary) so that it becomes a practically incredible ball that doubles its average size several times. Some species also have spines on the skin to defense.

A predator who succeeds to catch a puffer fish before it inflates will not feel lucky for long. Almost all puffers have tetrode toxin, a substance that makes puffer fish taste very unpleasant, often lethal to other fishes.

For humans, the toxin tetrode is deadly, up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. In pufferfish, it contains enough toxin tetrode to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no recognized antidote.

A documentary on the puffer fish [source: National Geographic]
Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Pufferfish size

Surprisingly, the meat of some pufferfish is a delicacy in Japan. It is incredibly luxurious and only specially trained chefs can prepare it. They know that a bad cut means almost certain death for a client. An error that seems to be is quite standard and causes death to several people each year.

There are more than 120 species of pufferfish universal. Most of them in tropical and subtropical ocean waters, but some species live in fresh and brackish waters. Balloon fish have long, sharp bodies with bulbous heads.

Some warn of their danger with marks on their body or with certain types of colors. Some others have a cryptic or mottled pattern that serves to blend in with their natural atmosphere.

During life cycle of a puffer fish, they will change their size

Its size varies, from the dwarf or pygmy puffer fish 2.5 centimeters long to the giant river pufferfish, which can grow to more than 61 centimeters in length. They are fish without scales and usually have rough skin tips. All have four teeth that form a beak outline.

pufferfish can grow to more than 61 centimeters
pufferfish can grow to more than 61 centimeters

Habitation of pufferfish

The pufferfish diet frequently includes invertebrate wildlife and algae. Excellent specimens can even split shells with their hard beaks and eat clams, mussels, and shellfish.

Puffer fish synthesize their deadly bacteria toxin in the animals they eat. Some species of pufferfish are measured vulnerable due to pollution, habitat loss, and overfishing.

But it is painstaking stable in terms of the number of its population.
Rendering to a report, a 43-year-old man from Florida will have kidney dialysis for the rest of his life after eating pufferfish.

Pufferfish also has some sick signs that you couldn’t skip. We had written about it in this article.

Cost for a pufferfish

The cost to get a puffer fish as pet includes the price at the store, the tank cost, food, and health service.

During the time of keeping puffers, you might need to know how to make brackish water for pufferfish. That’s quite easy. All the things you need to do is read this article for buying stuff. Then follow the steps.


Are Puffer Fish Reef Safe?

From the points of this article, pufferfish are reef safe if they are in their natural habitat. However, it is advisable not to keep them in your home tank because they are aggressive and can feed on the smaller organism.

Is it safe to touch a puffer fish?

The puffer fish species has several ways of protecting itself from predators in the wild. One of these techniques is by producing a poison known as “tetraodotoxin” that becomes too lethal for the predator to survive it. This toxin is mostly secreted across their entire body, making them (puffer fish) dangerous to touch or consume, especially by humans.

How poisonous is a puffer fish?

Almost all pufferfish species have the poisonous tetrodotoxin substance in their body. This substance makes them taste foul and very lethal to other species of fishes. To humans, the tetrodotoxin poisonous substance is deadly, up to 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide. According to research, there is enough tetrodotoxin in one pufferfish to kill up to 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote.

Can you get stung by a puffer fish?

Puffer fish do not bite or sting. Instead, their bodies contain a deadly toxin that is 100 times more lethal than cyanide. Going by research, each year, many dozens of adventurous fish and other sea animals are killed with puffer fish poisoning.

Which puffer fish species are not poisonous?

As noted earlier, not all puffer fish species are deadly poisonous. For instance, the flesh of the northern puffer fish is not as toxic as the other species. It has a low poison level which can be found in its viscera and it is considered a delicacy in North America.

Also, takifugu oblongus, a fugu puffer, is not poisonous, and its toxin level varies widely between fishes.  Interestingly, the neurotoxin of puffer fish is not as toxic to other animals as it is to humans.

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