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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER EMMA BIDDLE: Huffing and Puffing

It is always a great pleasure to introduce a new guest blogger to the CFZ Bloggo. When the guest blogger is a charming young lady it is an even greater pleasure (I hope that doesn't make me sound like some middle-aged sleazebag, because that truly is not my intention). So let me waste no time in introducing you to Emma Biddle, a fishkeeping fortean who has been dating Matty O for several months now...

My blog is about one of my favourites: Puffer fish. I first got into puffer fish about 3 years ago when I purchased my first from a pet shop who knew nothing about him, he was a Tetraodon Suvattii, I bought him home and put him in my tank with my tropical fish. Ummm.... big mistake, as anyone who has ever kept them will know. He killed my entire tankful in one sitting and looking quite pleased with himself. So I thought I would write a little about these remarkable and quirky fish.
Tetraodontidae – Four Toothed: Puffer fish are the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world the first being a golden poison frog.


Puffer Fish Compatibility: One of the most frustrating things about puffer fish is that they usually cannot be kept with other puffer fish or anything smaller than they are as the other fish tend to get eaten !

Jumping Puffer Fish: You will definitely want to cover the surface of your aquarium if you have a puffer fish if they get too stressed in the tank not only can they puff up like a balloon by sucking in air, they can also jump out of the tank in an effort to get away, my dog faced puffer did this on more than one occasion and luckily enough we were in the room at the time and able to quickly put him back, from then on I decided it was best to put a cover over the top to prevent him doing so again!

Puffer Fish Dentistry: Puffer fish have beak like teeth that are fused together and can become problematic if they grow too long. In the wild, puffer fish eat all kinds of things that act to file down their teeth. Puffer fish owners are advised to give their puffer fish things to gnaw on to grind down their teeth, hard shelled cockle is often recommended. If not addressed, the puffer fish's teeth can grow so long that it is unable to eat its food. Many puffer fish keepers actually file down their puffer fish's teeth if they get too long for hard shelled food to correct.

Puffer Fish Are Poisonous!!!!!:A puffer fish's body contains a type of poison called Tetrodotoxin, this is also found in other species such as the blue –ringed octopus and cone snails. Tetrodotoxin is produced within the puffers by bacteria it gets from its diet, the puffer is immune to this poison due to a mutation in the protein sequence of the sodium ion channel on the cell membranes. It can be found in all the organs but mainly the liver, ovaries and skin.

Tetrodotoxin is an exceptionally lethal poison, which is said to be 100 times deadlier than potassium cyanide. It is a sodium channel blocker which paralyzes the muscles whilst the victim is fully conscious and slowly asphyxiates them, at present there is no antidote and is normally treated by trying to support the victims respiratory and circulatory system until the poison wears off.

Fugu is the Japanese word for puffer fish, and also the name of the dish created with its meat normally from the genus Didon i.e porpcupinefish, and is lethal if prepared wrongly hence fugu has now become one of the most notorious dishes in Japanese cuisine

A new drug is being developed called Tectin that is derived from Tetrodotoxin, it is a potent pain reliever, which if administered in tiny doses can help relieve the pain experienced from certain cancer sufferers. It is also being researched to see if it can help opiate suffers through withdrawl

1 comment:

stormwalkernz said...

i used to keep freshwater puffers, the little figure of eight kind, tey are voracous snaikl feeders and as a result had to riase a lot of snails to feed them, hence a seperate snail tank to provide a feeding stock, i may put up a bloggo at some stage as believe it or notthere is rather a nack to raising these pesky vegetatain pacmen.

Tony Lucas