Monday, October 27, 2008

Puffer Fish

Puffer fish have a very unique defense mechanism. They are able to swallow water to inflate their bodies like balloons. Most fish will eat anything that will fit into their mouth, and avoid anything bigger than themselves. By puffing up like this, a puffer fish quickly jumps to a much bigger size, and becomes inedible to most fish.

A puffer fish spends most of its time deflated. In this state, it is much more streamlined and can swim unhindered in search of food. When it puffs up, it moves extremely slowly. I used to catch puffer fish by startling them into puffing up. This made them suddenly almost immobile. I could then easily pick the little ball up with my hands.

If I caught them in a net before they managed to puff up with water, they would fill up with air. This turned them into little living balloons. I would put them on the surface and they would float down the beach until they relaxed and deflated.

Puffer fish come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Most can easily fit into the palm of your hand, but some grow as big as a person. Some species are decorated with beautiful colors as well.

5 comments:

Nurse Jen Doll said...

Ha that's so cool how the lady's holding that blowfish thing.

NovaBlogger said...

Yeah one that size might make a good volleyball. Some species of puffer fish are smoother and feel more like sand paper than porcupines. I used to catch young puffers of a similar species, but they were only about as big as acorns.

Rick Rosenshein said...

Great blog and beautiful photographs. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work. Rick

crazy working mom said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my place! :)

You have amazing photos here. I loved the one with the puffer fish.

I just wanted to let you know that the photo you saw over at my place was just her reflection.

originalmartian said...

Does any1 know what fish dogfaced pufferfish r compatible with and do they accept their own species ?