A nice walk on the beach is perhaps one of the best ways to unwind. However, the experience turned out to be a horrific one for a woman who discovered a bizarre-looking creature.
Maleah Burrows was on St. Simon’s Island in Georgia, US, when she came across the lifeless body of a fish in the sand. When she had a closer look, however, she saw it had “human teeth.”
“We were just walking along the beach and it was washed up far from the shoreline and caught our attention. I originally just thought it was a plain old fish – nothing exciting, but I still wanted to show my three-year-old. Then as we got closer I saw all the teeth and I was shocked because I’d never seen anything like it!”
According to reports, Burrows found the remains of a sheepshead, a fish that utilizes its gnarly teeth to crush mussels, shrimp and crabs. The fish are common in the Gulf of Mexico and the southern North American coast. Though they were once prevalent in the New England region, the species has become rare in the area in recent years.
“It had really thick, large scales on its body which was interesting. It had an entire mouthful of teeth – they weren’t pointy but blunt like an animal’s. Behind its first row of teeth were buds that filled up its entire mouth. I’m not sure what they were, but I’m guessing more teeth.”
Sheepsheads begin to develop teeth when they’re just 4.5mm long and they have a full set by the time they’re 15mm long. Over time they can grow up to 76cm long and often reach half a meter in size.
The mom added:
“It freaked me out a little bit thinking that something like this was swimming in the same water we were and how bad it would feel to get bitten by it! Every person I’ve shown the pictures to has been shocked because they’ve never seen anything like it.”
While the sight of the fish might be shocking for someone not familiar with its appearance, it’s not exactly a rare fish. Sheepsheads are not listed as endangered or vulnerable with the World Conservation Union and are often caught by fishermen.
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