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Page history last edited by Ashley Amiraslani 9 years, 3 months ago


By Ashley Amiraslani


What is a Porcupinefish? (Description)



The porcupinefish -part of the Diodontidae family- gets its name from its protective spikes all around its body. Related to the Pufferfish, it can expand its body when it senses danger. They aren't the biggest of fish but they can be just as dangerous! When provoked they can inflate with air, spikes are pointed outward from their body and some even carry a dangerous poison - called tetrodotoxin - deadly to the victim who is unfortunate enough to have received the poison. This fish with a tanned body, white stomach, black spots and great big eyes can also grow to a length of 90 centimetres! With all of these specialized defence features, it is able to defend itself against predators despite its small size. 


Where do Porcupinefish live? (Habitat) 


     These unique fish can live in almost any sea in the world! Making their homes in the water of the Atlantic ocean, Pacific Ocean and Indian ocean. This fish has a wide range of choice of where to make its home, as long as its in its warm waters. 


Predator Adaptations


     The porcupinefish is a carnivorous animal meaning it eats other living organisms, mainly fish with hard-shelled features. With its strong mouth it will feed on fish like urchins, snails, clams and crabs. Anything that eats something with a hard shell, knows that it could be harmful and actually quite dangerous to have this sort of diet; So that the porcupinefish can eat its prey, it has developed thick strong lips so that it would not be harmed by its preys hard shell. As a predator, the porcupinefish will also explore different areas of the ocean like sandy areas, tunnels in the area and caves to try and find their prey. To make it harder for its prey, the porcupinefish will also try this in the night, where everything is darker and less is seen, this way the porcupinefish can stay hidden.


Prey Adaptations 


     Nature follows only one rule: survival of the fittest. Because of this, everything in nature had to figure out a way to get its food and to survive against its predators. The porcupinefish has developed certain survival skills that has helped it follow natures rule. One of the many things that the porcupinefish does to keep its life is it keeps to itself. This means it has not dominated any territory, because if it senses danger, it will move on to find another temporary home. In other cases another porcupinefish will turn on its own for many reasons, to defend its family, or an issue for food etc. In this case the porcupinefish chased will project dark spots on its skin to show that it is not a threat and that it will not pose any harm. Finally, its last prey adaptation is its ability to inflate its body up to three times its actual size. When this happen, its spikes on its skin will stand up tall making it harder for a potentiel threat to harm the amazing porcupinefish.



Symbiotic Interactions 


     It would be very hard for the porcupinefish to exist without the Coral Polyp by its side. The porcupinefish has a commensalistic symbiosis with the coral polyp; This means that one organism will benefit, the porcupinefish. And one organism will be unaffected, coral polyps. The porcupinefish is provided with a home, camouflage and food (as explained further on) and the coral polyp is unaffected by the porcupinefish's new home. The coral polyp provides a home for the porcupinefish as it prevents the porcupinefish from roaming around the ocean, open to harm. Because of this home, the porcupinefish is both sheltered and camouflaged. This way not only is the porcupinefish protected, but now the porcupinefish can capture prey without much trouble. In other cases, the coral polyps will also be food for the porcupinefish so the porcupinefish will also be kept well nourished. 



Species Comparison 


     One can easily mistaken the porcupinefish for the Pufferfish, but one would be mistaken. The images below represent both organisms. Porcupinefish is represented on the right and the pufferfish is represented on the left. Yes, the porcupinefish and the pufferfish are very similar, but they are also very different. One of the main and most obvious similarities, is the two fish's ability to inflate their bodies as a defence against fateful predators. This defence speaks for itself as a predator would be foolish to attack something with spikes all over its body. Another predator adaptation that both fish had developed was a poisonous factor. Most of the two fish have a poison that could be deadly to any predator who tries to harm these fish. So far, these fish are very much the same. But something that differentiates these fish is the fact that they're placed into two different categories. One is part of Diodontidae, the porcupinefish. And one is part of Tetraodontidae, the pufferfish as well as the porcupinefish have much heavier spines where as the pufferfish have thinner spines. Although these fish may seem the same, in reality, they are very much different. 














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