Pufferfish are part of the tetraodontidae family, which evaluated from the primarily family of marine beings Tetraodontiformes. Pufferfish are not the only ones included in this family. Puffers or balloonfish, as well as blowfish and globefish are equally part of this category of fish. On the other hand, porcupinefish have many elements in common with pufferfish from a morphological point of view. What makes them different from the pufferfish, though, are the spines placed on the external part of their body.
These spines are not common to the thin spines specific to the Tetraodontidae, but the porcupinefish show their spines only in several moments, when they fill out their body. The name of tetraodontidae is inspired from the teeth of the fish, which enable it to crush the crustaceans and the mollusks, particularly their prey and shell.
Our main focus now is the pufferfish, which in spite of their lovely name they carry on a high level of poison within their body. This is why they are placed on the second position in the top of the most dangerous vertebrates. The first place is occupied by the golden poison frog. The toxic substances are placed in the liver and within the skin and when a predatory animal eats them, it automatically becomes infected with this poison.
Strange as it may seem, there are people who actually eat the meat from pufferfish in Japan and they even consider it a real delicacy. Of course, there are special chefs who know how to prepare this meat and how to eliminate the poisonous parts from the pufferfish.
There are over one hundred species of fish and almost 20 genera of puffers included in the Tetraodontidae. The temperate climate is not favorable for them and therefore they usually live at tropics. No cold water can be home for such fish and the medium dimensions are particular for pufferfish. Only some exceptions can reach more than 100 centimeters in length. Even though pufferfish are slow and lazy, they have a strong defensive system which completes the lacks of their movement.
As far as the habitats of the pufferfish are concerned, there are various places to be mentioned. For example, the majority of pufferfish are found in inshore waters. There also some of them (less than 30 species) that live in freshwater. These ones are situated in South Africa and Central Africa, as well as in the Southeast region of Asia.