by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com
Last week, an angler casting a line off Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, North Carolina, caught a hefty and toothy nine-pound sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus). The fish, also known as convict fish for their black and grey horizontally striped body and ability to steal bait, have large, beady black eyes and an uncanny 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 found them,” one Facebook user wrote. “Bad dentist. Must look elsewhere,” wrote another user, per the Washington Post’s Jennifer Hassan.
The coastal critter was dubbed the sheepshead fish for the way its mouth resembles the muzzle of a sheep, the BBC reports. Because the sheepshead’s diet consists of mollusks and crustaceans, their molars assist in crushing their prey’s tough shells. Young sheepshead fish eat marine worms or any soft-bodied animal found within seagrasses until all their specialized teeth grow in, reported Scientific American’s Becky Crew in 2013.