An unusual inhabitant of the seas and oceans is considered a hedgehog fish, whose name fully justifies its specific appearance. In appearance, this is a common fish, but when it senses danger, it turns into a huge ball, covered with a multitude of sharp spikes with poison.
The peculiarity of the fish-hedgehog lies in its ability to inflate when it detects danger.
This ability protects it from attacks by predators and makes it inedible, in a bloated state, it can stay until it is confident of its safety. Fish-hedgehog is a sea soccer ball and a large number of sharp and poisonous spines.
The sea urchin fish is a representative of the family of the bare-toothed detachment of the spry, dwells near coral reefs in the oceans and tropical seas. Individuals prefer to spend their lives alone, swimming between corals and feeding on various mollusks.
In its normal state, the sea urchin is a common fish, unobtrusive.. Here’s what a hedgehog fish looks like:
- The length of its body is 30–60 cm, the color is bright with red, brown or black spots, in the usual state the spines are completely invisible and pressed to the body.
- The head is round, dull, powerful jaws with intergrown teeth resembling plates.
- A characteristic feature is the dense bone shields with spines, covering the whole body, like a protective mesh, the length of the needles reaches 5 cm.
- The fins are round, without spikes, but above and below the tail are fixed spikes.
The sea urchin fish is defended by a large number of sharp and poisonous spines.
In the mouth there is a special bag – a compartment in the pharynx, which fills with water in case of danger and makes a ball with spines out of fish.
In total, oceanologists account for approximately 15 species of sea urchins, whose main habitat is the waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. In the seas of the tropical and temperate zones, you can also find representatives of puffer-fish, especially their large concentrations around the shores of the Mediterranean.
Real hedgehog fish prefer salty seawater, but some species have adapted to live in freshwater bodies. An individual who cannot swim fast chooses calm waters near the shores, lives among coral reefs, and sometimes swims with the flow.
Slow and slow fish often fall prey to larger predators. Fishermen often find barracudas in their nets, who ventured to eat hedgehogs, and those simply stuck in the throat of a predator and poisoned him with their poison.
That is why the sea urchin prefers to hunt and swim at night, and in the daytime hide in the crevices of reefs and rocks.
Fish-hedgehog to hunt at night, and in the daytime hides from large predators.
Adaptation to nocturnal life gave the sea inhabitant excellent vision, which helps in hunting and self-preservation. The basis of nutrition in the natural environment are:
Gnawing off a piece of coral, the fish breaks it in the mouth with the help of strong crushing teeth, and larger pieces of calcareous skeletons are gradually digested in the stomach and excreted naturally. A record amount of crushed limestone found in the stomach reaches 500 grams.
In aquarium conditions, fish are fed with shrimps, small clams and special foods based on algae.
Little is known about the reproduction process of these creatures. Scientists only managed to establish that in the mating season, females throw eggs into the water, and males – milt. At their contact fertilization occurs and the formation of the fry in the depth of the egg, of a huge number only a few survive.
From the fertilized particles appear complete and healthy individuals.
Fish sea urchin when inflated increases 3-4 times.
People know little about the shy and modest inhabitant of the deep sea – fish-hedgehog, but there are some interesting facts:
- In the aquarium, fish live up to four years, and in life they are much less due to catching and eating by predators.
- Frightened individual increases by 3−4 times, and its spikes are spread throughout the body.
- The meat of this creature is poisonous, but in some countries it is very popular and is considered an expensive delicacy called Fugu. Incorrectly cooked meat leads to death or severe poisoning.
- The poison contained is called tetrodoxin, and it is fatal to the human body. Lethal case is possible in 60−70%.
- Cooks who can properly cook poisonous fish can be counted on the fingers, because the process is very complex and demanding, failure to comply with the preparation technology can lead to the death of the taster.
- The amount of poison of one individual can kill up to 30 people.
- The fish-hedgehog has very sharp eyesight and sees well in the dark of night.
- Thorns – protective mail, saving from attack by predators and scaring away curious individuals.
- In the Far East, inflated and dried hedgehog fish is sold as souvenirs, and various products are made from the skins.
- Sensing the danger, the individual swells in seconds and turns into a thorny ball, in addition, it releases toxic mucus into the water, which can kill the enemy.
Sea water is necessary for keeping the sea urchin.
The content in the aquarium requires a special approach: the water should be only sea, clean and fresh; feed containing algae and other vital components. Neighborhood with other fish is also contraindicated, because they can get injured, pricked by sharp spikes, or they will be eaten or bitten by pufferfish.
This information about fish-hedgehog with a description for children will be useful for adults as well as for tourists going on an exotic tour.
Curious divers often became victims of the bite of a sea urchin or, due to carelessness, could step on it, being wounded. In this case, doctors recommend to quickly get to the land and thoroughly wash the wound with running water, removing the spikes with tweezers.
It does not hurt to apply an ointment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory components, with severe injuries it is better to consult a doctor to prevent serious consequences.
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