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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 ocean sunfish or headfish, 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 (family Molidae), occurs widely in all seas, although it prefers warmer waters. Its appearance is that of a huge head with fins attached, as its body does not taper. It moves clumsily and is usually seen basking in the sun. The ocean sunfish is one of the largest of all fishes, the record weight being about one ton (900 kg). It is harpooned for sport; except for the oil from its liver, it is of little value as food.

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 ?
Remove the tray and add the chopped tomatoes, Puffer Food Company Chilli Jam and handful of torn basil leaves.
There are currently seven types of puffer fish lurking in the eastern Mediterranean waters, but this one is the most dangerous.
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.
Dad–of–two Nick said: "We gave the boat to the Puffer Preservation Trust and started trying to raise the money for the repairs.
Puffer fish damage nets and impinge on fishermen's income with the professional fishermen in the Famagusta district previously protesting on what they said were unreasonable fishing quotas.
The puffer machines became a poster child of technology that works well in a laboratory, but not in a real-world setting.
METHODS: We used the standard mouse bioassay (MBA), receptor binding assay (RBA), mouse neuroblastoma cytotoxicity assay (MNCA), Ridascreen ELISA, MIST Alert assay, HPLC, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to determine the presence of STX, decarbamoyl STX (dc-STX), and N-sulfocarbamoyl (B1) toxin in puffer fish tissues, clonal cultures, and natural bloom samples of Pyrodinium bahamense from the IRL.
The puffer fish poison, tetrodotoxin, has turned up in a variety of other creatures that spend at least part of their lives in water.
Puffer balls are imported from China and consist of an inflated latex ball with tendrils.
At that time, there were lots of rumors throughout the Air Force about a new plane being unveiled for high Department of Defense officials, said Raymond Puffer, Air Force Flight Test Center historian.
Scientists have also set their sights on toxins found in puffer fish of the family Tetraodontiformes (TEH-trah-OH-don-tih-forms).
Puffer, the main character of the story, is a fish who has to protect himself from dangerous prey.