Porcupine Pufferfish – Fish of the Day

Today’s fish is a prickly customer – the Porcupine Pufferfish.

The slow swimming porcupine fish  has the ability to inflate its body by swallowing water – making its body rounder. This increase in size reduces the range of potential predators that can swallow it to only those with much bigger mouths. A second defense mechanism is also provided by the sharp spines, which radiate outwards when the fish is inflated. Additionally, the flesh of most pufferfish is also toxic. See how these defense mechanisms work to outwit a moray eel in this Nat Geo video.

Porcupinefish are sometimes caught as bycatch in the South East Trawl. Today’s specimen was recently trawled up off the coast of Victoria.