Tetraodontidae Family Essay

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The Family Tetraodontidae and its Toxic Defense Mechanism Tetraodontidae, a family commonly known as the pufferfish, uses unique defense mechanisms in the wild to protect themselves against predators. Pufferfish diet consists mainly of invertebrates, so they are not viewed as dangerous or predatory animals in their ecosystems. These defense mechanisms are necessary to the survival of the Tetraodontidae family. The Tetraodontidae family’s defense mechanisms of inflation and use of the deadly neurotoxin tetrodotoxin make the family especially devastating to any predator that dares to ingest it. Tetraodontiforme is an order of the Acanthomorpha taxon, which primarily consists of spiny, ray finned fish with unsegmented spines (Tyler, et al., 2007). Out of the 16,000 species of …show more content…
Pufferfish habitat varies minimally, and they are typically found in coral reefs as well as shallow waters. Pufferfish, the most common tetrodotoxin carrying species, belong to the group Tetraodontidae.There are approximately 120 species of pufferfish that exist today (Tyler, et al., 2007). The pufferfish diet consists of primarily algae, shellfish, and invertebrates. In their ecosystem, large fish, sharks, and humans are their main predators (Tyler, et al., 2007). This is what makes their unique defense mechanism so important to survival. Tetrodotoxin is found in the pufferfish liver, ovary, and intestine. It is currently believed that tetrodotoxin is synthesized by closely related species to the pufferfish. This is believed to include bacteria and dinoflagellates (Tyler, et al., 2007). Because of this, tetrodotoxin toxicity is believed to range in toxicity dependent upon the seasons (Tyler, et al., 2007). Pufferfish use a mechanism in which they inflate with

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