|©2004 Ken Riddick|
We found this balloonfish among the fire corals of Tent reef, very near the harbor at Fort Bay. Sometimes confused with its cousin the porcupine fish, this guy has much more pronounced spines around its body.
As it appears in this picture, the balloonfish is shy and will retreat to safety on a diverís approach. But they are built for comfort more than speed and so can often be approached quite closely. What they lack in stealth, they make up for in other clever adaptations.
When cornered they will inflate themselves with water like a spiny basketball, making it nearly impossible for predators to get a hold on them.
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