Reef Kids: Puffer Fish Snack

by | Mar 28, 2016 | Science, Too Cute | 0 comments

melon puffer - reefs

credit: Melysa Montanos

Trying to get the kids to eat a more well-rounded diet?  This fruit kabob pufferfish might be just the partner in health you’re looking for! It’s is a simple snack to put together, but so eye-catching, and should charm your picky, picky eater. You can certainly use any fruits you would like; this example has cantaloupe, strawberries, red and green grapes, kiwi, and pineapple, and the only supplies you need are a sharp knife, toothpicks, and wooden kabob skewers. Cut a quarter of the cantaloupe out and scoop out the fruit. Assemble the kabobs and insert into the cut out area, create the eyes with kiwi slices and grapes, the mouth with a kiwi end, and the puffer’s spines with the toothpicks. You may want to make the kabobs safer for small children by snipping off the sharp ends – the fruit can easily be skewered with a blunt tip.

spiny puffer - reefs

Credit: Islands in the Stream Expedition 2002. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration

There are more than 120 species of pufferfish worldwide, ranging in size from 1 inch long to over 2 feet in size. Almost all species contain tetrodotoxin, a substance that is 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide; they are the second most poisonous vertebrates, after the golden poison frog. One pufferfish contains enough poison to kill 30 adult men, but some species of sharks can eat the fish with no repercussions. All puffers are found in warm environments – the majority live in salt or brackish water, but there are 29 species that spend their entire life cycle in fresh water.

  • xeniaforever

    As senior editor here at reefs, I get to work with scientists from all over the world, and have made some wonderful friends in the industry! I also write for the site, and am the office manager at FRESH New London and the mother of two brilliant, talented young women.


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