Trivia question for Jul-21-2011

Posted on Jul 21, 2011 in Trivia

Last week while we were teaching our “Plastic Awareness Week” program in FL, we were invited to work with Sean Russell who is an amazing young man that started the “Stow-It, Don’t Throw It” program.  The program teaches kids (and adults) to stow their fishing line and nets as opposed to throwing in our rivers and oceans were it invariably entangles and kills many marine species.  While we were there, we had the opportunity to see this fish at the Mote Aquarium so Carter decided to include it in our trivia.

These fish are able to move their eyes independently, and many species can change the color or intensity of their patterns in response to environmental changes. In these respects they are somewhat similar to the terrestrial chameleon. Although most of these fish are drab, many have bright colors and distinctive markings and make no attempt to hide from predators.  Although most species live in inshore and estuarine waters, 29 species spend their entire life cycles in freshwater. These species are found in disjunct tropical regions of South America (1 species), Central Africa (3 species) and Southeast Asia (25 species).

So here are Carter’s questions:  Tell us what this fish is and what they do when they feel threatened.  Also, parts of this fish contain the same poison as the blue-ringed octopus, one of the deadliest marine animals around.  Tell us what parts of this fish contain the poison?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations to Mafalda from Palermo Italy for being the first to identify the fish we featured. We are also glad to hear your grandfather did not get too sick after eating one of these. The fish we featured is the Puffer Fish. This fish comes from a family which includes many familiar species which are variously called pufferfish, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab. They are morphologically similar to the closely related porcupinefish, which have large external spines (unlike the thinner, hidden spines of Tetraodontidae, which are only visible when the fish has puffed up).

As the description above stated, these guys literally puff-up when they feel threatened or when they want to try and show off their size to a rival. Puffer fish are generally believed to be the second–most poisonous vertebrate in the world, after the Golden Poison Frog. Certain internal organs, such as liver, their blood, liver, intestines, gonads and sometimes their skin are highly toxic to most animals when eaten, but nevertheless the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in Japan, Korea, and China when prepared by chefs who know which part is safe to eat and in what quantity.

Here is more on these deadly fish: Puffer Fish

Thanks for playing along 😉