November 29, 2022

Sheepshead Fish With Human-Like Teeth Plucked From North Carolina Coastline

The Atlantic coast swimmer uses its molars to crush the shells of various mollusks and crustaceans

An picture of a close up of a sheepshead fish. The fish has its mouth open and you can see it’s human-like teeth.

The coastal critter was dubbed the sheepshead fish for the way its mouth resembles the muzzle of a sheep. Jennette’s Pier via Facebook

Last week, an fishermen casting a line off Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, caught a large and toothy nine-pound sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus). The fish, likewise known as convict fish for their black and grey flat striped body and ability to steal bait, have big, beady black eyes and an remarkable grin that resembles a human smile. Photos of the catch shared to Facebook on August 3 prompted many comments from users astonished by the fish’s set of jaws, reports Brandon Specktor for Live Science.

“I think grandpa lost his dentures, and this fish located them,” one Facebook user composed. “Bad dentist. Must look somewhere else,” wrote another user, per the Washington Post’s Jennifer Hassan.

The coastal animal was dubbed the sheepshead fish for the way its mouth resembles the muzzle of a lamb, the BBC records. Since the sheepshead’s diet consists of mollusks and crustaceans, their molars help in crushing their victim’s hard shells. Young sheepshead fish eat marine worms or any type of soft-bodied animal located within seagrasses until all their specialized teeth grow in, reported Scientific American’s Becky Crew in 2013.

A mature sheepshead will grow up to three feet long, reports Live Science. They’ll ultimately expand three rows of stubby, flat teeth in their upper jaw and two rows lining their reduced jaw. The fish’s front teeth are also coated with enamel, like the human incisors they resemble.

Fishermens can locate sheepshead fish swimming near the Atlantic coastline from Massachusetts to Brazil. Despite being captured for sport, they are edible. Many Facebook users, consisting of Nathan Martin, the angler who caught the fish, commented on just how yummy these fish are, the Post reports.

“It’s a excellent fight when you’re fighting on the line, it’s a really great catch, and it tastes excellent,” Martin told McClatchy News.