Taxonomy [Blowfish] [Phylum: Chordata] [Class: Actinopterygii] [Family: Tetraodontidae]
The Puffer fish gets its name from its defensive response – puffing itself up to around two to three times its normal size when scared.
They do this by sucking in huge amounts of water, which temporarily increases their size.
The balloon-like sphere is created to protect the Puffer from unwelcome ‘guests’ by way of predators!
They are not aggressive fish, and tend to be spotted during dives, for their comical swimming actions and large eyes that can move independently of each other.
There are more than a hundred species of Puffer Fish, and many of them blend into to their surroundings by adapting their color and skin patterns.
Puffer Fish are mainly found in tropical areas, but there are some species that live in cool water environments – and rivers.
Scuba divers generally categorize Puffers into two main types.
The common Puffer which are kept in some aquariums and adorn popular dive locations around the world, and the Porcupine Fish (Puffer) – which has sharp spines that protrude upon inflating itself.
Puffer Fish are considered by some to be a delicacy. However, caution should be exercised, as their flesh has toxins which can be harmful – lethal even – to humans.