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Baby Puffers Join Aquarium

May 24, 2013

Hastings’ Blue Reef Green Spotted Pufferfish twoAquarium is looking after a 20-strong shoal of baby pufferfish.

The youngsters, which each measure just 2cms in length, went on display at the start of this week and are already proving a hit with visitors.

Unlike most species of puffer fish, the green spotted puffer is unusual as it can survive for period of time in brackish water.

Blue Reef curator Chris Ireland said: “Green spotted puffers are one of the smaller of the approximately 120 different puffer species worldwide and full grown adults will rarely reach more than 15cms in length.”

Found throughout Asia, the fish are omnivores, and tend to feed mainly on small invertebrates and plant matter including seaweed.

In addition to their normal diet, the fish also graze on rocky substances. This is due to the fact that their teeth continuously grow and without hard food to grind them down they can cause health problems.

Pufferfish are able to inflate their bodies by using special muscles and valves to rapidly gulp in and retain water. They have no ribs so they can inflate up to three times their original size.

Some have been known to puff up in the throat of a predator and thus choke and kill it. There have even been observations of puffers gnawing their way out of the stomachs of dolphins and sharks.

As well as the ability to inflate themselves most puffer fish are also highly poisonous and there have been a number of reported fatalities among diners in Japan where pufferfish – known as fugu – is considered a delicacy.

 

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