Puffer fish are beautiful and amazing. their defensive armor reminds me of a medieval knight or maybe an Ankylosaurs, the armored Dinosaurs that roamed the earth during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. (photo – factspy.net)
To avoid becoming lunch, these herbivores developed spikes and plates as body armor. Much like the Puffer fish (Tetraodontidae) or is it called the porcupinefish or blowfish or balloonfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, or sea squab. (model – Nobu Tamura)
But Are Puffers Really Prickly?
Whatever the name, the Puffer has an off-putting reputation for being prickly. But is that really the case? Here are three videos that might suggest otherwise. The first video shows a puffer fish in trouble, with a very large fish hook lodged in its mouth. But even in distress this fish doesn’t go into its natural defensive inflated state but waits patiently for the diver to remove the fish hook, even though the process is obviously painful.
The second video shows a Puffer being cut from a fishing net, notice how the puffer fish’s mate stays close.
The third video shows divers having a moment with a very friendly puffer. The puffer fish almost seems to enjoy being petted, although we suggest that this is not the behavior a diver should display around puffer fish or any marine life for that matter. Unless the diver is coming to the rescue by removing a hook or cutting them from a fishing net, in that case, right on.
All of our Interaction stories share one thing, a moment of compassion when one species ceases to be predator and becomes benefactor.
By Bob Frerck, Blue Ocean Network
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