We have investigated intron evolution in the compact genomes of 2 closely related species of pufferfishes, Fugu rubripes and Tetraodon nigroviridis, that diverged about 32 million years ago (MYA). Analysis of 148,028 aligned intron positions in 13,547 gene pairs using human as an outgroup identified 57 and 24 intron losses in Tetraodon and fugu lineages, respectively, and no gain in either lineage. For comparison, we analyzed 144,545 intron positions in 12,866 orthologous pairs of genes in human and mouse that diverged about 61 MYA using dog as an outgroup and identified 51 intron losses in mouse and 3 losses in human and no gain. The rate of intron loss in Tetraodon is higher than that in fugu, mouse, and human but lower than the previous estimates for other eukaryotes. The introns lost in pufferfishes and mammals are significantly shorter than the mean size of introns in the genome. One intron deleted in fugu and another in Tetraodon have left behind 6 and 3 nucleotides, respectively, suggesting that they were lost due to genomic deletions. Such losses of introns are likely to be the result of a higher rate of DNA deletions experienced by the genomes of pufferfishes compared with mammals. The shorter generation time of Tetraodon compared with fugu, and the rich diversity and higher activity of transposable elements in pufferfishes compared with mammals, may be responsible for the higher rate of intron loss in Tetraodon. Our findings indicate that overall very little intron turnover has occurred in pufferfishes and mammals during recent evolution and that intron gain is an extremely rare event in vertebrate evolution.