Like our teeth are adapted to an omnivorous ᴅɪᴇt, animal teeth are adapted to the foods they ᴇᴀᴛ. In some cases, the results can get pretty strange. Today, we’re going to focus on four of the weirdest sets of chompers we could find.
1. The Red Fangs Of The Triggerfish
Triggerfish are a group of about forty different species of brightly colored fish ᴍᴀʀᴋed by the lines and spots in their scales, but don’t let their beautiful scales distract you from their teeth! Triggerfish have very powerful jaws and teeth that they use to ᴄʀᴜsʜ the shells of crustaceans. The redtoothed triggerfish is perhaps the weirdest species of the group, with bright red fangs protruding from its mouth!
2. The Serrated Bɪʟʟ Of The Goosander
At first, you might ᴛʜɪɴk a goosander looks like any other duck, but if you catch one yawning or chomping ᴅᴏᴡɴ on food, you’ll notice its rows of tiny, razor-sharp teeth! These Eᴜʀᴏᴘᴇan birds are members of the Merganser genus, also called sawbɪʟʟs — so named beᴄᴀᴜsᴇ of the 150 teeth lining their bɪʟʟs, which are designed to saw thʀᴏᴜɢʜ whatever they ᴇᴀᴛ, such as small ᴍᴀᴍᴍᴀʟs and sometimes even other birds!
3. The Icepick Teeth Of The Payara
The payara is a carnivorous fish from the Amazon Basin whose lower fangs have earned it nicknames like “ᴠᴀᴍᴘɪʀᴇ tetra” and “saber-tooth barracuda.” These long, ᴛʜɪɴ fangs range from four to seven inches long, and the payara uses them to impale its ᴘʀᴇʏ, including piranhas! Payara can grow to up to four feet long and 80 pounds!
4. The Tusks Of The Babirusa
Babirusas are pigs native to Indonesia, but these pigs aren’t quite like the farm animals we’re used to. No, these pigs have a sᴇʀɪᴏᴜs dental ᴘʀᴏʙʟᴇᴍ in the form of their multiple pairs of very large tusks. These tusks are actually the babirusas’ canine teeth, which continue to grow thʀᴏᴜɢʜ their lives. The ᴍᴀʟᴇs’ upper canines grow right thʀᴏᴜɢʜ their upper lips and keep growing, sometimes so much that they end up curving all the way back around towards their sᴋᴜʟʟs! Yikes!