Credit: Jennette's Pier/ Facebook

Fish With ‘Human Teeth’ Caught Chompin’ In North Carolina

This fish has some big human-like chompers on it, but there’s nothing human about it.

Credit: Jennette’s Pier/ Facebook

A strange catch at Jennette’s Pier in North Carolina pulled up something unexpected from the Atlantic Ocean and it’s not exactly smiling anymore.

Say cheese! This fish has real teeth, they’re fairly straight, and they’re human-like. However, there’s nothing human about this aquatic character.

You’re probably thinking… “What the heck is this fish?”

It’s called a Sheepshead Fish (Archosargus probatocephalus) and is also known as a “convict fish for the dark stripes running down its gray body, reminiscent of a stereotypical prison jumpsuit,” according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The fish arguably has a better smile than its captor, too.

The fish can be seen swimming and minding its own business along the Atlantic coast from New York to Brazil. These whoppers can grow up to three feet long and dine on a variety of oysters, clams, crustaceans, and some plants when it’s eating light.

So, you may be wondering if this Gary Busey-like fish is a threat to humans.

According to David Catania, who is the collections manager for ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences, the fishy figures are pretty peaceful.

“I would not hesitate to swim in waters inhabited by these fish,” Catania told Snopes.com. “They pose no threat to humans unless harassed. Since they are good to eat, sheepshead are targeted by anglers, so the handling of one after capture creates the possibility of being bitten or poked by their sharp dorsal fin spines.”

All of the teeth inside the fish’s mouth develop gradually over its life. The chomper “grows and graduates from a diet of predominantly soft-bodied animals to a shellfish-heavy menu later in life.” In the photo shared on Facebook by Jennette’s Pier, you can see two new rows of molars developing in the back of the fish’s lower jaw.

I wonder if this fish flosses daily?

Matt Sterner

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