New Year, New Friends - Meet the Pufferfish, Hammerhead Shark, and Sheepshead

Our newest friends have arrived! We are so excited to finally launch our new friends, for the new year. These friends were chosen based on which one generated the highest number of likes on our social media pages, so we are excited to finally share them with you all, and they are available for purchase in youth AND adult size. Like our first fishy friends, they are uniquely designed to promote our mission of generating curiosity, creativity, and connection. We hope you love them just as much as we do!

Who is the Pufferfish?

The Pufferfish is a toxic little fellow, known for being one of the most poisonous vertebrates in the world! Their internal organs (and sometimes their skin) have what is known as tetrodotoxin (or also known as saxitoxin) which can be deadly when eaten. The only animal that is not affected by the Pufferfish’s poision are sharks. Pufferfish are slow swimmers, so to protect themselves from predators, they inflate into a balloon-like shape many times bigger than their normal size. They do this by inhaling a large amount of air and water. The pufferfish has long, tapered bodies, and bulbous heads. They range in size from 1 inch, to 2 feet. The most common Pufferfish found in Florida are the checkered, southern, northern, and bandtail puffer fish. They can all be distinguished by different patterns and colors. They are typically found in bays, seagrass beds, tidal creeks, mangrove swamps and can occasionally be found in freshwater areas. The Pufferfish prefer an omnivorous diet consisting of algae and some small invertebrates. They have four tooth plates arranged into quadrants with two teeth on top, and two on the bottom, making it possible for them to also eat clams and mussels. 

Who is the Hammerhead Shark?

Hammerhead sharks are known for their flattened heads that extend laterally into the shape of a hammer. They are typically light gray with a greenish tint and white bellies. They have a large size range from around 2 feet to 19 feet and weight range about 6 pounds to 1200 pounds. Unlike most sharks, Hammerheads can be found swimming in schools during the day, and solitary hunters at night (meaning they swim alone). They are seen in warm tropical waters, but during the summer months, they participate in a mass migration to search for cooler waters. Hammerheads have a much smaller mouth compared to other sharks, and can be seen eating smaller fish, squid, octopus and crustaceans. They even like to prey on stingrays. When searching for food they like to swim on the bottom of the ocean floor and stalk their prey. They even use their heads as weapons. 

Who is the Sheepshead?

The sheepshead is a funny little friend with teeth that look just like ours! They have a hard mouth with several rows of stubby teeth with the frontal ones resembling our own human teeth. With these teeth, they have a much easier time crushing the shells of their prey. Their prey typically consists of oysters, clams, molluscs, fiddler crabs and other crustaceans. They can be found living near rocky bottoms or places with obstructions, jetties, and the pilings of bridges and piers. Sheepsheads have a deep and compressed body with five or six dark strips or bars along with sharp dorsal spines. They usually grow to be around ten to twenty inches long and weigh around three to four pounds.

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