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Long Spine Porcupine Fish

on September 17, 2007
Aquarium Guide - Mini

The long-spine porcupinefish has dark patches on its sides and back. It has long spines that protrude from all over its body, except for the fins and face.

Long Spine Porcupine Fish

Design

The unique features of this fish give it protection against predators. When threatened, the long-spine porcupinefish will fill its body with air or water, which makes its body swell like a balloon. This makes it too large to fit into the predator’s mouth. Also when “inflated,” the spines all over its body are fully extended, making it even less of a desirable meal to the predator. Such a defense mechanism requires a flexible stomach, vertebrae, and sides. This structure could not have happened by chance, random processes, but was designed by the Creator.

Features

  • The long-spine porcupinefish has dark patches on its sides and back.
  • It has long spines that protrude from all over its body, except for the fins and face.
  • When not threatened, this fish’s spines will lie flat against its body.

Fun Facts

  • Common names for this fish include balloonfish, balloon porcupinefish, blotched porcupinefish, brown porcupinefish, freckled porcupinefish, hedgehog fish, and spiny puffer.
  • The long-spine porcupinefish has an elastic stomach, flexible skeletal structure, and stretchy skin, all which allow it to inflate like a balloon.
  • The teeth of both the upper and lower jaws of this fish are fused, forming a solid, heavy beak. This beak makes cracking the shells of snails, sea urchins, and hermit crabs easy.

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)

ORDER: Tetraodontiformes (cowfishes, filefishes, leatherjackets,

puffers, triggerfishes, and trunkfishes)

FAMILY: Diodontidae (burrfishes and porcupinefishes)

GENUS/SPECIES: Diodon holocanthus

Size: Up to 24 in (60 cm)

Diet: Mollusks, crabs, and sea urchins

Habitat: Shallow areas in tropical waters of the world

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