Tetraodontiformes - PP
The tetraodontiformes includes the puffer fish and trigger fish. However, the boxfishes are also sometimes included in this group. These fishes are commonly called T-Forms. The fish in this order have an interesting dentition in which the maxilla and premaxilla are fused together and have a total of 4 tooth plates. They generally graze on reefs and are slow moving fishes. This is partially due to their short vertebral column, which makes them inflexible. Thus, only the back portion of their body, such as their caudal fin, and their pectoral and pelvic fins are able to move. They may even use their large pectoral fins to grab onto the reef and move in fine scale movements. Many of these fish have modified scales erect as the fish inflates with water and act as a defensive mechanism to protect against being preyed upon. The fish may fully inflate in as quick as 4.5 seconds. Many of these fish have powerful tetrodototoxins which also protect from being eaten. One example of this is the fugu fish, which is, oddly enough, often considered to be a delicacy in japan. The toxin in this fish is so strong that even a miniscule amount of the toxin can kill a person.