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!