Hakai Magazine


The Most Enthusiastic Dads

These male pufferfish want to be everybody’s baby daddy.

Authored by

by Katie McKissick

Article body copy

No matter how keen your dad may be about fatherhood, he’ll never be as enthusiastic as a white-spotted pufferfish. According to scientific research, this species practices “male-territory-visiting polygamy.” A male builds a nest to lure choosy females, and, after mating with a number of different partners, stays to guard and clean the nest and to raise all the young. Of all the species of marine pufferfish, this combination of paternal care and polygamy is unique to the white-spotted pufferfish.