DEC 08, 2019 8:04 AM PST

What's Inside a Pufferfish May Surprise You

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Pufferfish are among one of the most easily discernible fish in the ocean, especially when inflated. But do you know how these little fish are able to expand more than three times their size in a matter of moments?

When a pufferfish expands, it’s not absorbing air like a balloon; instead, it’s pumping excessive amounts of water from its surroundings into its stomach. The fish’s stomach contains accordion-like folds that facilitate this expansion, and special muscles in its mouth and esophagus make pumping that water in and sealing it off possible. When the pufferfish is ready to deflate, special muscles in its underside push all the water back out.

Another exciting fact about pufferfish is that they lack any rib bones. Given just how much these fish expand, such bones would only get in the way. This makes pufferfish incredibly light and flexible when compared with other fish of similar sizes.

Scientists also think that pufferfish may have lost their ability to digest food with their stomachs due to evolving them to absorb water. That said, pufferfish may rely solely on their intestines to do all their digesting for them, as the stomach isn’t able to begin the digestion process.

Indeed, pufferfish are incredible animals, and scientists are always attempting to learn more about them.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 08, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Scientists to Spiders: How Do You Handle Sticky (Nanofiber) Situation?
MAY 08, 2020
Scientists to Spiders: How Do You Handle Sticky (Nanofiber) Situation?
The term "biomimicry" describes the models and methods harnessed by scientists to imitate natural element ...
MAY 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
Three-fourths of migratory birds in the Pacific threatened by overhunting
MAY 19, 2020
Three-fourths of migratory birds in the Pacific threatened by overhunting
Overhunting of migratory shorebirds in the Asia-Pacific region has reached an all-time high - and conservationists are c ...
MAY 28, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Pitcher Plants Inspire Kidney Stone Diagnostic
MAY 28, 2020
Pitcher Plants Inspire Kidney Stone Diagnostic
  Urine contains an abundance of dissolved salts and minerals such as calcium and uric acid. These can form crystal ...
JUN 16, 2020
Plants & Animals
Desperate Polar Bear Mother Weighs Risks of Attacking Dangerous Walruses
JUN 16, 2020
Desperate Polar Bear Mother Weighs Risks of Attacking Dangerous Walruses
Polar bears are being subjected to severe living conditions as the Arctic’s ice caps continue to melt, and without ...
JUL 11, 2020
Earth & The Environment
The disappearance of Australia's seagrass
JUL 11, 2020
The disappearance of Australia's seagrass
Australia is losing its seagrass. That’s according to a new report released by marine scientists at the Centre for ...
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
Loading Comments...