Takifugu rubripesPuffer fish body is similar to that of other bony fish, but the puffer fish have the ability to enlarge their stomach with water or air. The stomach has folds upon folds upon folds, all of which can be expanded if the puffer fish feels threatened. This adaptation has come about also because the puffer fish are lacking ribs, which give the stomach the area it needs to expand.


~ the puffer fish's stomach is actually just used for inflation, the food passes directly into the intestine for digestion.


~after the puffer fish 'puffs' up, it floats to the surface, and is helpless until it deflates



 Also the puffer fish have 4 fused teeth in their jaw, which are used to crack open shells of the small marine animals it eats, like snail and crab, and for shearing off coral for food. The hard shell of those animals allows for the puffer fish to grind its teeth down. This is important because if left to grow,  teeth would grow very large and keep the puffer fish from being able to eat. Some of the Japanese puffer fish tissues are poisonous, containing the toxin tetrodotoxin. The puffer fish liver and ovaries are highly toxic, intestine is mildly toxic and the skin, flesh and testes are nontoxic and eatible. The tetrodotoxin is produced by various bacteria Vibrio spp., which is contained in the food that the puffer fish ingests. Follow me to learn more about Vibrio spp. and tetrodotoxin.


~puffer fish are  used as ingredients in Chinese medicine



Canidates preparing fugu for their license. Despite these defense strategies, the puffer fish is often prey to sea life, such as sharks and other larger fish. Also the Japanese puffer fish is often eaten by humans, mostly in Japan, as a delicacy. The toxic nature of some of the Japanese puffer fish's tissues make preparing the fish the job of an extremely trained chef. Tokyo has required every chef to get a license to prepare and serve fugu since 1958.


Japanese puffer fish are not the only marine life to be consumed as food. Learn more about some others like Northern Pike or the Largemouth Bass.