[Daily article] July 31: Smooth toadfish

The smooth toadfish (Tetractenos glaber) is a species in the pufferfish
family Tetraodontidae. It is native to shallow coastal and estuarine
waters of southeastern Australia, where it is widespread and abundant.
French naturalist Christophe-Paulin de La Poix de Fréminville described
the species in 1813, though early records confused it with what is now
the only other member of its genus, the common toadfish (T. hamiltonii).
Up to 16 cm (6 1⁄4 in) long with distinctive leopard-like dark
markings on its upperparts, the smooth toadfish has a flattened belly
and an elongate body tapering to a slender tail. Its back and fins are
rounded. Unlike most of its relatives, it does not have prominent spines
on its body. Like other pufferfish, it can inflate itself with water or
air. It forages for its preferred foods—molluscs and crustaceans—in
sandy or muddy sediment. Often an unwanted catch by anglers, the smooth
toadfish’s flesh contains the poison tetrodotoxin, and eating it may
result in death.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1423:

Hundred Years’ War: The English and their Burgundian allies
were victorious over the French at the Battle of Cravant near Auxerre,
France.

1777:

The Second Continental Congress passed a resolution allowing
French nobleman the Marquis de Lafayette to enter the American
revolutionary forces as a Major General.

1941:

The Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Hermann
Göring ordered SS General Reinhard Heydrich to handle “the final
solution of the Jewish question”.

1991:

The Soviet Union and the United States signed the bilateral
START I treaty, the largest and most complex arms control treaty in
history, which eventually removed 80% of all strategic nuclear weapons
then in existence.

2006:

Following intestinal surgery, Fidel Castro provisionally
transferred the duties of the Cuban presidency to his brother Raúl.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

i18n:
(software engineering) Abbreviation of internationalization.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  The wizards represent all that the true “muggle” most fears: They
are plainly outcasts and comfortable with being so. Nothing is more
unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!  
–J. K. Rowling

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