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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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/


(mining engineering)
A small stationary engine used in coal mines for hoisting material.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Barriche reveals the reason behind the puffer jaw's strength, saying, "Because this is a tropical fish, it has a mouth like a parrot, with a beak [meant to] crush coral."
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Tetrodotoxin can be found in the liver of puffer fish.
The market told the publication that this was not the first time it had sold the type of fish shown in the picture, but said the species was "different" from the known poisonous puffer fish.
Froome "It has been proven that even if you take your puffer less than the amounts which you're entitled to you can excrete more than the threshold in your urine.
Ivy Park pewter bonded puffer jacket PS120, Topshop A faux shearling biker or flight jacket strikes the right balance - look for edgy leather and metal detailing, or plump for an usual colour choice, like pink or purple.
PUFFER wouldn't go on a solo journey to Mars, but would be a teammate that could tag in when a larger rover faces a topographical blockade.
Puffer became a Sundyne dealer in 2014 and received Tier 1 Authorised Service Center status through extensive investment in personnel training and equipment.
Hayman, who presents a documentary on the industrial history of the Scottish puffer tonight, has criticised the lack of a high-profile attraction.
On June 13, 2014, two patients went to the Hennepin County Medical Center Emergency Department in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with symptoms suggestive of tetrodotoxin poisoning (i.e., oral paresthesias, weakness, and dyspnea) after consuming dried puffer fish (also known as globefish) purchased during a recent visit to New York City.
A puffer fish who became an international celebrity after being featured in a National Geographic magazine has a new home at Tynemouth's Blue Reef Aquarium.