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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A pufferfish or blowfish (swellfish, globefish, balloonfish, bubblefish) is a unique creature. They have the ability to inflate themselves with air or water, they can swell to 2 or 3 times the normal size. They do this by swallowing a mouthful of air or water. Puffer's use this action as a defensive gesture when feeling threatened. It is effective most of the time at keeping predator's at bay. Their scientific name is Tetraodon which refers to four large teeth that they use to crush the shells of their prey. The jaws are very strong. Female pufferfish can lay up to 200,000 eggs at a time, which is a huge number of eggs. Young pufferfish have the innate ability to inflate themselves when they reach about 7 days old. At this age they are about one half inch long.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pufferfish is in the family Tetraodontidae. When these fish feel threatened or frightened, they are able to inflate themselves. The reason that they inflate themselves is to scare predators away from them. Their stomachs are very elastic and they "blow up" by inflating themselves with water or air. Most of these fish live in salt water, although sometimes they venture into brackish water. Brackish water is water that is both salt and fresh water mixed.

When people have pufferfish in tanks at home it is important that they try not to frighten the fish. Sometimes air can become trapped inside their bodies and they can die.

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