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common name for some tropical marine fish of the family Tetraodontidae. The puffers and their allies, including the boxfish, the porcupinefish, the triggerfishtriggerfish,
any of several species of tropical reef fishes with laterally compressed bodies, heavy scales, and tough skins. They are named for the mechanism of the three spines of the dorsal fin: when the fish is alarmed the first of these spines is locked upright by the second
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, and the marine sunfish form an odd group (order Tetraodontiformes). The puffers, or blowfishes or swellfishes, named for their ability to inflate their bodies to three times normal size, are found all along the Atlantic coast, e.g., the northern puffer (Sphoeroides maculatus), and in the Pacific. Their prickly skin is exaggerated into stout spines in the porcupinefish (family Diodontidae) and the related spiny boxfish, or burrfish, which are also able to inflate themselves. Like the puffers, they feed on marine invertebrates.

The ocean sunfish, or headfish, and its relatives (genus Mola, family Molidae), occur widely in all seas, though the southern sunfish, or bump-head sunfish, is found only in the Southern Hemisphere. Their appearance is that of a huge silvery to gray head with fins attached, as the body does not taper. Sunfish move clumsily and are usually seen basking in the sun. The sunfish are among the largest of all fishes; the southern sunfish can exceed 5,000 lb (2,300 kg). Considered threatened, sunfish are used for food in some East Asian countries.

Puffers and their allies are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Tetraodontiformes.


(mining engineering)
A small stationary engine used in coal mines for hoisting material.
References in periodicals archive ?
But just as children grow up, so may PUFFER - according to NASA, it may eventually be "as large as a breadbox, sacrificing its microbot size for added robustness.
Organs such as the liver, gonads and skin of puffer fish have high concentrations of tetrodotoxin.
So we'll hopefully have three seagoing puffers in Scotland soon, and that would be fantastic.
The puffer fish (sometimes called globefish, fugu, or blowfish) is highly prized in many Asian cultures and is consumed safely in some countries (e.
I shot my deer on the south side of the ridge leading down to Puffer Pond.
There are currently seven types of puffer fish lurking in the eastern Mediterranean waters, but this one is the most dangerous.
There is very limited information about the suez puffer at the present time, except for the systematic and zoogeography in Mediterranean Sea.
But China is speckled with outlandish works of official art that vie with even a giant, glow-in-the-dark puffer fish for attention and outrage.
Everyone remembers the stories of Para Handy aboard the Vital Spark puffer but, during the war, our VIC 32 used to take aviation fuel out to the fleet based in the Scapa Flow.
Dolphins sometimes manage to get fish out of nets without injury to themselves and can be a nuisance to local fishermen, but it is the Lagocephalus puffer fish that can inflict greater damage to fishermen's nets, the department's Yiannos Kyriacou said.
Puffer, our inquisitive reporter, is back, this time delving into the wonderful world of Impressionism.
The Transportation Security Administration has no plans to continue research into puffer machines that were designed to detect trace amounts of explosives on passengers.