Definitions for takifugu
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Takifugu is a genus of pufferfish, often better known by the Japanese name fugu. There are 25 species belonging to the genus Takifugu, which can be found worldwide from about 45° latitude north to 45° latitude south, mostly in salt water. Their diet consists mostly of algae, molluscs, invertebrates and sometimes crustaceans. The fish defend themselves by inflating their bodies to several times normal size and by poisoning their predators. These defenses allow the fish to actively explore their environment without much fear of being attacked. The fish is highly toxic, but despite this—or perhaps because of it—it is considered a delicacy in Japan. The fish contains lethal amounts of the poison tetrodotoxin in the internal organs, especially the liver and the ovaries, but also in the skin and the testes. Therefore, only specially licensed chefs can prepare and sell fugu to the public, and the consumption of the liver and ovaries is forbidden. But because small amounts of the poison give a special desired sensation on the tongue, these parts are considered the most delicious by some gourmets. Every year a number of people die because they underestimate the amount of poison in the consumed fish parts.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A genus of pufferfish commonly used for research.
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