Fact Friday


Animals have different defense mechanisms to help protect themselves from predators. The balloonfish is no exception. When an enemy attacks, this fish responds by puffing itself out and filling its stomach with air or water. The balloonfish expands its body to look larger in order to intimidate predators. In addition to their puffed-up status, their body is also covered in spines that make them look quite menacing.

Photo Credit: Andrew Bruckner

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Meet Renée Carlton, marine ecologist at the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. She has studied the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reefs all over the world—from the Florida Keys to islands in the South Pacific. She is especially interested in sharing marine science with communities around the world so they can effectively conserve their marine resources. She loves scuba diving, and her favorite ocean animal is a hermit crab.