Terrifying Lingcod Fish Has 555 Razor-Sharp Teeth and Can Lose Up to 20 Teeth Daily

Terrifying Lingcod Fish Has 555 Razor-Sharp Teeth and Can Lose Up to 20 Teeth Daily

A wide-mouthed fish has over 550 teeth that grow just as quickly as they fall out. The terrifying Pacific lingcod has hundreds of razor-sharp teeth lining its mouth.

According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The tiny teeth are distributed throughout the fish's two sets of jaws, and researchers determined the rate of tooth loss by staining the teeth red and green so they could be observed under a microscope.

While humans have incisors, canines, and molars, the lingcod has hundreds of needle-like teeth nearly microscopic but strong enough to crush a crab's shell.

The Pacific lingcod is a predatory fish found primarily in the North Pacific. It is a fierce predator that devours almost anything it can fit in its mouth, including herring, salmon, rockfish, crabs, squid, and even small octopuses.

When it reaches adulthood, it can grow about 50 centimeters long, but some have grown to be 1.5 meters long.

The fish does not have human-sized teeth but rather near-microscopic teeth that are razor sharp and cover every bony surface of the mouth. Keeping those choppers sharp loses them as quickly as they grow, up to 20 teeth per day.

Karly Cohen, a biology graduate student at the University of Washington, and Emily Carr, a biology student at the University of South Florida, tracked 20 grouper in water tanks from a laboratory at the University of Washington to learn about the rate of tooth loss in grouper. Because the Pacific lingcod's teeth are so small, researchers had to think outside the box because they would be impossible to find if they fell to the bottom of the tank.

Instead, they added a red dye to the tank, staining the teeth red. They were later transferred to another tank containing a fluorescent green dye to stain the teeth once more.

The experts then looked at the fish's teeth. The teeth that existed at the start of the experiment will be red and green, whereas the new teeth will be green only. They examined a total of 10,000 teeth to determine the rate of tooth loss and growth of the grouper and which teeth were replaced the most frequently.

Grouper cotton, in particular, changes about 20 teeth per day. In humans, this rate corresponds to the loss and growth of one tooth per day. Carr and colleagues also discovered that teeth in the second molars were replaced more quickly and that lingcod teeth were pre-programmed for size and location, just like human teeth.

Even if a large tooth nearby is lost, smaller teeth in one location will not grow into larger teeth.

Researchers also tried to determine whether feeding them more made a difference in the replacement teeth.

However, according to Carr, feeding the fish did not increase tooth replacement and thus remains a mystery.

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