You don’t hear much about poisonous fish, but there are actually more poisonous fish in the world than venomous snakes. These fish usually release their venom through spines on their fins and tails.
If you step on them or brush up against them, watch out! You’re in for a painful – and sometimes deadly – surprise.
Fun Facts About Poisonous Fish for Kids
- Puffer fish, or blowfish, are covered with spines. When they feel scared, they blow up to more than twice their size. The spines stick out, making the fish look like porcupines. The spines aren’t the only part that’s toxic. Some puffer fish release poisons into their bodies when they die. If an animal eats them, the animal becomes sick. Some chefs in Korea and Japan are specially trained to prepare puffer fish so it’s not dangerous. One mistake, though, could mean big trouble.
- Stingrays have poisonous barbed spines in their tails. They have a rounded ray shape. A sting from one of these animals can kill a person.
- Rabbit fish, scorpion fish and zebra fish all have venomous spines on their tails and fins. A sting probably won’t kill you, but it is very painful.
- Stonefish are tricky creatures. They’re usually brown, tan or gray and they’re covered with lumps. They hide on the ocean floor, where they look like a rock or sand. If you step on them, they inflict a painful or even fatal sting.
- Toadfish, like the stonefish, hides on the ocean floor. It won’t kill you, but if you step on it, it causes a nasty sting.
Poisonous Fish Vocabulary
- Spines: sharp, needle-like quills or points
- Toxic: poisonous
- Chef: a professional cook
- Inflict: cause, give
- Fatal: causes death
Learn More All About Poisonous Fish
Watch an awesome episode of Blue World about deadly poisonous fishes in the Pacific Coral Reefs:
A documentary about the different poisonous fishes in the Pacific Coral Reefs.
Poisonous Fish Q&A
Question: Where do poisonous fish live?
Answer: They can be found almost anywhere, but most of them live in warm, tropical waters.
Question: Should I worry about poisonous fish when I’m at the beach?
Answer: Fish are shy and won’t intentionally attack you. Wear water shoes if you’re swimming in an area with stonefish or toadfish.
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