Reef Residents: Balloonfish

It only seems fitting to do a feature on the balloonfish, since, well, it is a very prominent fish at the Aquarium these days... here's what I'm talking about:

The New Aquarium Experience billboard on the front of the building

Balloonfishes, Diodon holocanthus, are classified in Family Diodontidae, which includes porcupinefishes, burrfishes and swelltoads. Diodontidae literally means two-toothed, one upper and one lower. They use these teeth and strong jaws to crush their prey: hard-shelled invertebrates.

Balloonfish, Diodon holocanthus

Probably the coolest thing about balloonfishes is that they have the ability to inflate their bodies to twice their size by ingesting either water or air. This, along with the fact that their spines become erect during this inflation, is a defense mechanism, making them tougher to swallow by predators.

Speaking of eating, check out this video of me feeding krill to one of the balloonfishes in the GOT.

-- Chris

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