J.W. MOWBRAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.W. MOWBRAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spiny puffer fish. View of a spiny puffer fish (Diodon holocanthus). Puffers are named for their habit of blowing up their bodies when they are irritated. The skin is leathery, coarse and scaleless. This fish has pointed spines which lie flat against the body when the fish is resting. When the fish is challenged it gulps water to puff out its body, and the spines are erected as shown. In this way, like a porcupine, they present themselves to the enemy as a swollen ball of spikes. Puffers have fused teeth and hard crushing plates on the roof of the mouth to crush hard- bodied foods such as molluscs and sea urchins.
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