The Atlantic coastline swimmer deploys its molars to grind the shells of various mollusks and crustaceans.
A photograph shows a close-up view of the open mouth of a sheepshead fish, revealing its teeth that bear a resemblance to those of humans.
A fisherman who was fishing off Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina last week caught a large, toothy nine-pound sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus). The sheepshead fish, also known as convict fish due to their black and gray flat-striped body and bait-stealing ability, has big, beady black eyes and an impressive grin that resembles a human smile. After photos of the catch were shared on Facebook on August 3, many users were amazed by the fish’s set of teeth, as reported by Brandon Specktor for Live Science.
According to the BBC, the sheepshead fish got its name because its mouth resembles the muzzle of a lamb. Since the sheepshead’s diet mainly consists of mollusks and crustaceans, their molars help in crushing the hard shells of their prey. Until their specialized teeth grow in, young sheepshead fish eat marine worms or any type of soft-bodied animal located within seagrasses, as reported by Scientific American’s Becky Crew in 2013. One Facebook user commented that the fish looked like grandpa had lost his dentures and the fish had found them, while another user wrote that a different dentist was needed, according to Jennifer Hassan of The Washington Post.
According to Live Science, a fully grown sheepshead fish can reach up to three feet in length. They eventually develop three rows of stubby, flat teeth in their upper jaw and two rows lining their lower jaw. The front teeth of the fish are also coated with enamel, similar to human incisors.
Sheepshead fish can be found swimming along the Atlantic coastline from Massachusetts to Brazil, and although they are caught for sport, they are also edible. Many Facebook users, including Nathan Martin, the angler who caught the fish, commented on how delicious these fish are, as reported by The Post.
Martin told McClatchy News that the sheepshead fish provide an excellent fight on the fishing line, make for a great catch, and taste delicious.
Rewritten Source: https://pawmypets.com/sheepshead-fish-with-human-like-teeth/