This Bizarre Fish Has 555 Teeth

Sharon Renee Weird /
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While sharks might be one of the ocean's most intimidating inhabitants, there's another creature worthy of caution: the Pacific Lingcod. Boasting over 500 teeth, the deep sea creature is a predator like no other. From it's hunting methods to its unique traits, here's why scientists have been closely studying the mysterious fish...

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According to a new study, marine experts have discovered a daunting truth about the Pacific Lingcod: not only do the creatures boast roughly 555 teeth, but they're constantly shedding and replacing them. More specifically, the lingcod loses and gains about 20 new teeth each day, something that left researcher Adam Summers startled. “Kind of makes braces useless... and brushing," the biology professor explained, comparing it to a human losing and replacing 1 tooth/daily.

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But ecologist, Kory Evans thinks he can further shed light on the marvel. "The duller a lingcod's teeth are, the harder it is going to be for it to hold on to its prey. So having the ability to shed teeth and replace them is pretty important," he explained of the lingcod's unique trait, vital to maintaining their spot in the marine food chain. And that's not the only characteristic that puts the predators ahead of their prey.

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Weighing up to about 130 pounds, the sportfish will devour anything in its way. "We had to add tape to the corners of the tanks because when they saw someone walking by, they would try to jump out," the Royal Society study's co-author Emily Carr revealed. "I never got bit, but I’m sure they would’ve tried, given the chance." But while the lingcod might make for an unfavorable study subject, Carr and her team are hopeful the fish can help fill in the blanks when it comes to understanding biology...

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"There’s this idea that teeth are very expensive to make and replace, but our study challenges this concept," she explained. The fish's teeth makeup is very similar to other bony fish, making it a great studying tool to understand varying species. Clearly, this still lots to be learned here, and this breakthrough might help accomplish just that.