Boat Safe is a community supported site. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we have confidence in all recommended products.
Catching a fish is a wonderful feat that many of us tend to be proud of. Most often, we are familiar with the fish we catch, and we know how to handle and manage them well.
But what if you come face-to-face with a fish you are not very familiar with? Some anglers may not be aware of this, but fish with teeth exist! And there are several of them in the water!
In the middle of 2020, a fish broke into a social media frenzy with its human-like teeth. The fish was reportedly caught in Malaysia, and a photo of it was shared on Twitter-verse. While some claim the photos may be edited, the fish had human-like front teeth and big lips similar to a triggerfish.
There are about 40 species of triggerfish all over the world. Particularly, the Picasso triggerfish has well-defined front teeth. Another triggerfish, known as the clown triggerfish, also has a few teeth to boast. Triggerfishes usually live in tropical or subtropical waters. They feed on crabs, worms, and sea urchins.
Another fish with teeth that eerily resembles that of humans is sheepshead. The teeth of the sheepshead surprisingly include incisors, molars, and even rounded grinders! They use their teeth to feed on small fishes and crustaceans.
Sheepsheads make their home in South and North America. Particularly, people can find them on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. You can also find the fish from Cape Cod to Florida and from the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.
This fish belongs to the Sparidae family and can grow up to 10-20 inches. However, in some rare cases, sheepshead can be as long as 35 inches!
They weigh around 9.6 kg or 21.2 lbs. Aside from their human-like teeth, you can distinguish a sheepshead by its lightly colored body marked with vertical black bars. It has sharp spines on both its dorsal and anal fins.
3. Black Piranha
Many of us get scared of piranhas, and all for the right reasons. Piranhas bite! And when they do, they can eat people alive. A black piranha is another fish with teeth. Known to be the biggest of all piranhas, a black piranha can weigh as much as 13 lbs.
Talking about a black piranha is enough to give people the creeps. Looking at one face-to-face is a whole different level. It has blood-red eyes and a protruding jawline that makes its razor-sharp teeth more evident.
Anglers should be careful when catching piranhas too. While catching one can give you a sense of accomplishment, it comes with all the dangers you can imagine. After all, piranhas can take your fingers and toes quite easily.
4. Map Pufferfish
The map pufferfish, also known as scribbled puffer, is a dangerous fish with teeth. This fish has a powerful neurotoxin on its skin and internal organs. Thus, one wrong move and you can find yourself in a very perilous condition. However, this fish is also shy. They are very hard to get close to because they often hide in a hole when someone comes close by.
Map pufferfishes are highly territorial. They have a powerful bite. They feed on algae, sponges, and crustaceans. The four teeth are fused to form a sharp beak. The teeth also grow continuously throughout their lifespan. Humans should be careful since they do have a very powerful bite.
You can normally find lingcods at the Gulf of Alaska and Baja, California. British Columbia and Washington also boast quite an abundant supply of lingcods. They live on rocky seafloors. They are also known for their large heads and mouths; that is why they are nicknamed “Buckethead.”
Lingcod are great camouflagers as they can hide in various colors, from mustard yellow to dark greens and from deep browns to different shades of greys. You can distinguish lingcods through their copper-colored spotting along the back.
Lingcod have amazingly 18 large and sharp teeth. The adult lingcod are extremely aggressive predators. They feed on sea creatures dwelling at the bottom of the water like squid, crab, and octopus. Lingcod even feed on smaller lingcod when they see one.
They tend to grow very quickly too. This fish can grow as long as 5 feet and weigh as much as 80 lbs. They can also live for 14 to more than 20 years.
They are popular choices for fish in pet stores, but some owners would release them to the wild as they can outgrow their aquariums. An adult pacu fish can range from 7 to 42 inches long and weighs from 2 to 97 lbs depending on the breed you have.
Pacus are also close cousins of the piranhas. But while the piranhas are deadly scary, the pacus are not. Cutely labeled as the “vegetarian piranha,” pacus use two sets of blunt morals to grind plants and crack nuts for food.
This fish with teeth is called the “Dracula fish,” and it is rightfully called so. Just like a vampire, the payaras have two fangs erupting from their lower jaw.
The size of these fangs can be as long as your little fingers! On top of that, they have dozens of sharp teeth with knifelike edges. Like pacus, payaras are also found in the Amazon basin of South America.
While humans are afraid of piranhas, piranhas are afraid of payaras since they feed on them. That means that this fish is one tough predator that humans should be wary about too. A payara’s attack is known to be as swift as that of a cobra. Hence, whenever you have to face one, make sure you handle it with utmost caution and care.
Some fish do have teeth, just like humans do. So, the next time you ever catch one, do not be surprised by their bizarre appearance. Be proud instead that you get the chance to see these sea creatures up close! But beware and take caution since some of these fish with teeth are quite dangerous.
Outdoors, I’m in my element, especially in the water. I know the importance of being geared up for anything. I do the deep digital dive, researching gear, boats and knowhow and love keeping my readership at the helm of their passions.