All puffed out: do pufferfish hold their breath while inflated?

McGee, Georgia Evelyn, and Clark, Timothy Darren (2014) All puffed out: do pufferfish hold their breath while inflated? Biology Letters, 10 (12). 20140823. pp. 1-4.

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Abstract

The inflation response of pufferfishes is one of the most iconic predator defence strategies in nature. Current dogma suggests that pufferfish inflation represents a breath-holding response, whereby gill oxygen uptake ceases for the duration of inflation and cutaneous respiration increases to compensate. Here, we show that the black-saddled pufferfish (Canthigaster valentini) has an excellent capacity for oxygen uptake while inflated, with uptake rates increasing to five-times that of resting levels. Moreover, we show that this species has negligible capacity for cutaneous respiration, concluding that the gills are the primary site of oxygen uptake while inflated. Despite this, post-deflation recovery of aerobic metabolism took an average of 5.6 h, suggesting a contribution of anaerobic metabolism during pre-inflation activity and during the act of ingesting water to achieve inflation.

Item ID: 37227
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1744-957X
Keywords: inflation, metabolic rate, oxygen uptake, predator defence, pufferfish, cutaneous
Funders: Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2015 07:36
Downloads: Total: 3
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