No Braces Necessary for the Sheepshead Fish With Human-like Teeth!

No Braces Necessary for the Sheepshead Fish With Human-like Teeth!

sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus (3)

photo via:

sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus (2)

photo: Glen J. Kuban

sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus (4)

photo via:

Habitat: Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States
Status: No Conservation Concerns

I can honestly say that I would be completely shocked if I was diving along the Atlantic coast and came upon this smiling fish. It’s  a Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus), otherwise commonly called a convict fish due to the black and white bands that wrap around its body.

Sheepshead use their human-like teeth to grind up the hard shells of crustaceans, small shellfish, and barnacles. They have incisors, molars, and grinders much like we do. Hey, at least they’re straight. Imagine having crooked teeth like this? I mean, it’s not like fish can get braces to fix their smiles.

sheepshead, Archosargus probatocephalus (1)

photo: Claire Sunquist

Apparently, these are extremely tasty fish with its white flesh and mild flavor. Though, I can’t imagine killing this thing as its smiling up at you. The guilt would never end!

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  • Davey

    My sister caught one of these when we were in Biloxi Mississippi some 15 years back. I remember being fascinated by the ‘human’ teeth it had when I was cleaning it.
    Yes, it was tasty. Served it with hollandaise sauce.

    There’s another kind of fish people call a ‘Sheep’s Head’, but it isn’t nearly as pretty.

  • Ulrica

    It kinda creeps me out to be honest. 😀

  • isdizzle

    I’m still in awe. I can’t believe it. i would have to see it. The pictures feel sketchy. I don’t think i could eat it if I see it. ugh, too wierd. lol

  • gueppebarre

    Y’all two are nuts – they’re delicious! We catch them all the time in Calcasieu Lake.

  • Tooty

    Some do have crooked teeth and malocclusions, just like humans!

  • Charlotte

    I have seen some of these pictures around the web, but according to a lot of sites this fish is a pacu fish. Most sources seem to agree it’s a sheepshead but there’s a lot of uncertainty out there. Can you recommend a reliable source which settles this once and for all?