A giant porcupine fish is settling  in to a new home at Blue Planet  Aquarium after  being donated by a member of  the public.

The fish, named Porky, is one of  three large marine species which  were given to the aquarium by an  amateur fishkeeper.

All are in excellent condition and  are being looked after in the aquarium’s quarantine before going on  display.

Also known as the balloon fish and  the hedgehog fish, the porcupine fish  is probably best known as Bloat the  blowfish from the film Finding  Nemo.

Fully grown specimens can reach  up to a foot in length and will eat  virtually anything that comes within  range.

The fish’s teeth have become fused  into a type of beak which allows them  to bite through the hard shells of  crabs, clams and other shellfish.

As well as Porky, the anonymous  fishkeeper also donated both a queen angel fish and a white spot puffer fish.

A white spot puffer fish has been donated to the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port
A white spot puffer fish has been donated to the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port
 

“All three are doing extremely well  and have clearly been very well  looked after,” said Blue Planet  Aquarium’s Adam Mitchell.

“They are also large, fully mature  specimens and will be a great addition to our existing tropical marine  displays.

“At the moment visitors can see  them as part of our Access All Areas  tours and they will be moved into  their own displays over the coming  weeks,” he added.

Found throughout the world in  tropical waters, the porcupine puffer  fish gets its name from its ability to  puff up when threatened. Its body is  covered with tiny spines that stick  out when the fish is fully inflated  making it virtually impossible to  attack.

A second defence mechanism is  provided by the sharp spines, which  radiate outwards when the fish is  inflated.

Some species are poisonous, having  a tetrodotoxin in their internal organs. This neurotoxin is at least 1,200  times more potent than cyanide and  is produced by several types of bacteria that are obtained via the fish’s  diet.

As a result of these three defences,  porcupinefish have few predators,  although adults are sometimes  hunted by sharks and orcas. Juveniles are also preyed on by tuna and  dolphins.