The Sheepshead Fish is a Dental Nightmare

Open wide; let's take a look! The view of the inside of a sheepshead fish's mouth reveals several rows of strangely human-looking teeth. That's to help these fish eat everything in sight.

A fully-grown adult sheepshead will have well-defined incisors sitting at the front of the jaw, and molars set in three rows in the upper jaw and two rows in the lower jaw. It has strong, heavy grinders set in the rear of the jaw too, which are particularly important for crushing the shells of its prey. As with humans, this unique combination of teeth helps the sheepshead process a wide-ranging, omnivorous diet consisting of a variety of vertebrates, invertebrates and some plant material.

Why is it called a sheepshead fish? No one knows for sure, but the post at Scientific American has several possible theories, plus a look at some other fish that induce hallucinations. The sheepshead fish doesn't cause hallucinations; in fact it is supposed to be quite tasty. Even with our limited number of teeth. Link  -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: VA Institute of Marine Science)

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Where do I sign up for the fish/human DNA experiment? I want multiple rows of teeth like that. When you get a cavity of broken tooth a brand new one pops up! No more root canal or crowns.
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I have no idea why that picture creeps me the heck out and I go fishing for "northern" every summer. Maybe its because the teeth look so human? I'll certainly eat it once its filleted but that just ain't right.
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The seafood restaurants here in New Orleans euphemistically refer to Sheepshead as "Sea Bream" in an effort to not frighten away patrons. It is actually quite good.
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