On this episode, Tammy and Leslie venture out on the Intracoastal of South Florida to clean up some trash, laugh and learn about the Porcupine Puffer Fish.
The goal of this series is to make the most positive impact as we possibly can, while learning about some cool species through our Species Spotlights along the way. You can help make a positive impact too by sharing this video with a friend or loved one. If you want to snatch n’ grab yourself the OFFICIAL Trash Talkin’ N’ Learnin’ Crew shirt, visit our Shop Here. In the meantime, have a good day and clean up the waterways!
Porcupine Puffer Fish Facts
What is it?
A fish that has little prickly spines that cover the majority of its body. When the puffer fish is relaxed, these spines generally lay flat on its body. If the fish gets scared or feels threatened, it will fill its stomach with water by sucking the water into its mouth and then pumping the water into its stomach. This can happen pretty quickly and is a great defense for this species.
Where do they come from?
Puffers like Paul are pretty much world travelers. You can find porcupine puffers all over the world in lagoons and coral reefs – they particularly seem to like caves and holes that can be found in more shallow reefs.
What do they eat?
The porcupine puffer fish eats a variety of meaty foods that have hard shells like squid, krill shrimp and clams. They prefer the hard shelled foods because of the tender meat and because it helps them file down their teeth. These teeth resemble beaks on birds.
How long do they live?
Their life expectancy is 10 years – that’s both in the wild and in human care.
Are they endangered?
As of 2011, the Porcupine Puffer fish is listed by the IUCN Red List as Least Concern, with the population trend unknown.
Are they poisonous?
Technically yes, they can secrete a toxic substance if they poke anything. The toxic substance is called tetrodotoxin and can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the victim’s reaction and potency of the individual puffer’s secretion upon release of the toxin.
Can you have them as pets?
Yes. Now, Paul gets to be 1 foot in length when full grown. So he is going to need a pretty big tank roughly about 250 gallons minimum. These puffers also require good, stable hiding places so be sure to plan accordingly with your tank set up.