When we were out looking for dolphins on Spyhop we went by a pelican sitting in the water between Shackleford and Cape Lookout who seemed very interested in what looked like a brown ball floating on the surface. We turned around and netted whatever it was. It turned out to be a puffer fish as puffed up as possible. A useful defense. I love the way he/she looks – what a cute face.
After we took pictures we gently put it back in the water and as it swan away it deflated down to normal size which was about a third of how it looks in the pictures . It was an unusual and fascinating process to watch.
photos by Keith Rittmaster
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