Young dolphins nibble on puffers to get high.
Puffers are pretty strange sea creatures: when faced with danger, they blow up to triple of their original size, they change their color depending on mood and environment and they can move their eyes independently, just like a chameleon. Did you know that all 150 pufferfish species have exactly four teeth? Its scientific name, Tetraodontidae, derives precisely from that fact. Some of the puffer fish species are also responsible for the sea version of crop circles. Marine biologists kept coming across complicated, 2 meters wide circular shapes in the sand which they could not explain. Their origin: The males of some puffer species use their bellies to create ornate circles in the sand. If a female fancies their work, she will lay her eggs in the middle of the circle so the male puffer can fertilize them.
Most people are aware of pufferfish as Fugo. Hardly anyone has tried it, but most have heard of the culinary form of Russian roulette. In Japan, Fugo is a well-known sushi delicacy, but only trained chefs are allowed to prepare it. The gallbladder of the pufferfish contains an extremely potent neurotoxin and a wrong cut can make the delicacy fatal. In the years 2005-2014, 11 people died in Japan after eating Fugu and 359 other cases severe intoxication were noted.
However, it’s not just humans who are aware of the toxins in the blowfish. Marine biologists captured young dolphin groups on film, as they were nibbling on a puffer fish and passing it around. After a short time, the animals behaved a little strange: they floated vertically, with their nose towards the water, as if they were fascinated by their own reflection ...