Object of the Week – 14/03/13

Our specimen this week always has their five a day. What is it?



Did you know what last week’s object of the week was?


The photo last week was a close-up of the spines of our Pufferfish. Pufferfish are the second most toxic vertebrates in the world. They contain a neurotoxin, Tetrodotoxin (TTX), for which there is no known antidote. The name of the toxin is taken from the name of the order Tetraodontiformes which includes Pufferfish.

Why is there a Pufferfish in the display case next to Captain Cook? The first recorded case of TTX poisoning was in 1774 when the crew of Cook’s ship ate parts of a tropical fish and experienced numbness and difficulty breathing. The crew survived, but the pigs which had eaten the rest of the fish later died.

Pufferfish are eaten In Japan as a dish called Fugu. Chefs train for up to three years and must take an examination before they earn their license to make this dish.