Masked pufferfish

Masked pufferfish

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Inflated masked pufferfish (Arothron diadematus). When threatened, pufferfish gulp down water. This causes them to swell to up to twice their normal body size. The masked pufferfish gets its name from the dark band around its eyes, and is also known as the panda pufferfish. It is a solitary animal found in tropical waters. It feeds on corals, sponges and crustaceans, crushing and grinding them with its powerful jaws and sharp teeth. Pufferfish are a delicacy in Japan, where they are eaten as sushi. However, they contain a powerful toxin, tetrodotoxin, that is fatal to humans, and so need to be prepared with care. Photographed in St John's reef, Red Sea, Egypt.

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