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Northern Puffer

Sphoeroides maculatus

Sketch of a Northern Puffer fish, a small fish that balloons to a large circle when feeling attackedMax Size: 36cm (1 ft.)

Habitat: Prefer shallow coastal waters, from Newfoundland to Florida

Diet: Fish, crustaceans, and mollusks




Fun Facts:

  • The puffer gets their name from its ability to inflate itself when it’s threatened, which it does by inhaling water or inflating with air, depending on the species
  • Northern puffers have strong jaws with a beak-like array of fused teeth which they use to crush and cut the shells and flesh of crustaceans and fish alike
  • Though their flesh is not toxic like many species of puffer, its organs are, thanks to the tetrodotoxin contained within

A Northern Puffer fish sitting in the seaweeds looking at the camera

Claws up for Crab Week

Crab Week is a weeklong crustacean celebration from July 14-20.

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