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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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