MAY 26, 2018 04:23 PM PDT
The Defense Mechanisms of Blowfish
WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
2 1 105

Blowfish are known for their incredible defense mechanism: they can puff out into a spiky ball when threatened, as shown in the video. Some also have a spine, reinforcing their armor.

But they also have a backup system for battling predators. Some carry a neurotoxin in their organs and on their skin; that molecule can be very dangerous to other animals. The toxin is made by any of several species of symbiotic bacteria that live within the fish, like Pseudomonas, Vibrio, and others.

In Japan, some people eat the fish that harbor the bacterial poison. Chefs that prepare blowfish as part of a meal need to ensure that the liver, which harbors the toxin, is properly removed before it is served. Poisonings still happen on occasion, but the symptoms are well-known, and fatalities are rare.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert...
You May Also Like
MAY 10, 2018
Videos
MAY 10, 2018
Is It Candy or Vape Juice?
Vaping is extremely popular with young people, sometimes even middle schoolers, but the FDA has partnered with the FTC to warn vape manufacturers that thei
MAY 21, 2018
Videos
MAY 21, 2018
How Skin Allergies Happen
As summer approaches, many of us know to be on the lookout for certain plants that our skin doesn't like. When immune cells that we carry in our epidermis
MAY 30, 2018
Videos
MAY 30, 2018
Teaching Kids About The Brain
When you think about neuroscience education, middle school isn't typically what comes to mind. However, at the University of British Columbia, a new progra
JUN 05, 2018
Videos
JUN 05, 2018
What will people look like 1,000 years from now?
  Sometimes in those rough moments when life just hits you with some growing pains, it's good to remember that we as people are always e
JUN 10, 2018
Videos
JUN 10, 2018
Here's Why You Shouldn't Hold Your Pee for Too Long
Do you urinate regularly? Science shows that holding in your urine for extended periods of time imposes adverse health effects on your body. Of course, the
JUN 14, 2018
Videos
JUN 14, 2018
Video: MIT Trains AI to Clean House
Robots Learn New Chores in Sims World
Loading Comments...