23.05.: Blowfish, Pilot whales, Atlantic spotted dolphins & Bottlenose dolphins

Sightings May 23rd, 2017: Today we saw something special – a blowfish (Tetraodontidae) at the water surface, in defensive position, with its body inflated.

There are many names for these curious animals like for example bubblefish, pufferfish, toadfish, balloonfish, globefish or swellfish.

You don’t get to see something like that very often, because the blowfish only inflates itself in dangerous or frightning situations. It is very likely that this blowfish was confronted by an attacker shortly before our encounter.

When a blowfish inflates itself with water, its spines, which are not visible when not inflated, stick out and work like barbed hooks, therefore the predator may not be able to swallow the blowfish. Nevertheless that might be a good thing for the attacker as the blowfish’s intestines are full of a neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin, which makes them one of the most poisonous vertebrates in the world.

After inflating it takes quite some time and strenght to get back to normal body size because it is hard to press the water out of the body.

We also saw Pilot whales, Atlantic spotted dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins.

Fotos: Jacqueline Baldin – Gracias!

Blowfish floating on the back

Blowfish floating on the back

Recent sightings off the coast of La Gomera