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Record 6/11
Porcupinefish Allomycterus pilatus A large specimen from Port Underwood Porcupinefish are commonly called blowfish, and sometimes balloonfish or globefish. These are found in shallow temperate, and tropical seas. They have the ability to inflate their bodies by swallowing water or air, to become rounder. This increase in size reduces the range of potential predators. A second defense mechanism is provided by the sharp spines, which radiate outwards when the fish is inflated. Some species are poisonous, having tetrodotoxin in their internal organs, such as the ovaries and liver. This neurotoxin is at least 1200 times more potent than cyanide! As a result of these three defences porcupinefish have few predators, although adults are sometimes preyed upon by sharks and killer whales. Juveniles are also preyed on by tuna and dolphins. 2011.103.0002
Animal, Stuffed -Wild Things - Marlborough Natural History -Copyright Marlborough Museum - Marlborough Historical Society Inc

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Last modified on: February 15, 2016