Saturday, May 14, 2011


Boxfish have been described as cubes with holes for the eyes, mouth, and tail—and sometimes even horns. They also poison themselves on occasions, although the poison is really intended for their enemies.

When a boxfish is alarmed, it reacts by releasing a poison into the water. This is intended to deter any predator intent on making a meal out of the boxfish.However, if the poison is released in a confined space, such as a small cave, it can be powerful enough to kill some predators. For the boxfish it is an excellent
defense, allowing it to make a quick getaway while its attacker is struggling against the effects of the poison. Unfortunately for boxfish, however, it is not immune to its own poison. Therefore, if the poison is released in an aquarium (boxfish are popular aquarium fish) it can kill not just the other fish, but the boxfish as well.

Health Warning
Most people find boxfish interesting because of their vivid colors and because of their unusual shape and rigid boxlike body. The shape makes the fish swim in a style that looks “comical” to human eyes. Some species, such as the cowfish, are also attractive because they have two hornlike extensions on the forehead, above their very large eyes. Despite their many attractions, boxfish also carry hidden dangers for humans. Some of the larger species are very tasty and are therefore fished for food in some parts of the world. Unfortunately, they have been linked with ciguatera poisoning, which is caused by eating other species whose flesh contains ciguatoxin.


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