Have you ever seen an animal with teeth that look strangely similar to human teeth? As weird as it sounds, there are actually quite a few animals out there that have teeth that closely resemble our own! In this blog post, we’ll take a look at 5 animals with human-like teeth – the sheepshead fish, pacu fish, gorillas, horses, and pigs. Keep reading to find out more about these funny creatures with chompers that look like ours!
The sheepshead fish is a funny-looking fish that swims along the coasts of North America. At first glance, it looks like a typical silver and black striped fish. But when you get a closer look at its mouth, its human-like teeth may startle you!
The sheepshead gets its name from its unique mouth and teeth. Its front incisors are thick and flat, looking almost like human molars. The sheepshead uses these incisors to crush and grind up shellfish, which make up the biggest part of its diet. It also has pointy canine teeth toward the edge of its mouth to hold prey in place.
While the sheepshead’s human-esque teeth help it eat, they unfortunately scare off a lot of fishermen! Lots of people think their smile looks too creepy and human to eat. But despite their unusual look, sheepshead are supposed to be quite tasty – their meat is lean, flaky, and mild. The best way to get over their people-like chompers is to fillet the fish and cook it up into fish tacos or fish and chips. Then you can enjoy this odd fish without having to stare at its stare-worthy teeth!
The pacu is another fish with teeth shockingly similar to a human’s. It lives in the rivers of South America, hanging out in places like the Amazon River. Pacus are close relatives of the piranha, another fish famous for its crazy chompers. But unlike the piranha’s pointy teeth, pacu teeth look just like ours – wide, square molars made for crushing and mashing.
The pacu mainly eats nuts and seeds that fall into the rivers from overhanging trees. It uses its molar-like teeth like we would – to grind up its food into smaller bits. Its large, flat teeth also allow it to crack open tough cashew nuts and Brazil nuts. No wonder its pearly whites resemble our own – they perform similar food-mashing functions!
Pacus aren’t dangerous like piranhas, but an old legend says they sometimes mistake male swimmers for nuts and try to take a bite! While it’s just a myth, it shows how human their teeth really look. Some people even remove pacus’ teeth and use them as human dental implants – that’s how similar they are to ours! Who knew a fish’s smile could look so familiar.
Of all the apes, gorillas have teeth that most closely resemble those of humans. Their large, blocky molars and incisors look surprisingly similar to our own chompers.
Gorillas are mostly herbivores, using those flat molars to grind up tough fibrous plant material. The molars help break down and digest all the leaves, shrubs, bamboo and fruits that make up the bulk of their diet. Gorillas also have sharp canine teeth, but these are mainly used for defense or displays of aggression – not for eating meat.
Those strong jaws and thick teeth also come in handy for gorillas to build their sleeping nests each night. By biting and ripping apart branches and other vegetation, they construct cozy nests on the ground to sleep and rest in. Our shared human-like teeth allow us both to use them as tools – for chewing food and manipulating our environments.
When you look at a horse’s mouth, their teeth may surprise you with their resemblance to our own pearly whites. Horses are herbivores, so like us, they have nice big square molars and wide incisors that are perfect for grinding up vegetation. They move their jaws side to side to grind up grass, hay, grains and more into digestible food.
In fact, a horse’s teeth look so similar to ours that sometimes their teeth are removed and implanted into human patients that need molars! Equine dental implants can act as permanent replacements for our lost teeth. Who knew you could swap teeth between species so easily?
Horses’ teeth also both keep growing throughout their lives like humans’ do. Both species teeth slowly wear down over time from all the grinding. That’s why dentists recommend floating (filing down) horses’ teeth regularly to prevent sharp edges from forming. Regular dental work keeps horses chomping comfortably – just like how we get our teeth cleaned!
Pigs may not be the most glamorous animal out there, but one look at their mouths reveals they have pearly whites just like us humans! Those squarish, white molars look almost identical to our own – ideal for grinding and mashing food.
Pigs are omnivores like people, which means their diet includes both plant and animal products. They use their human-like teeth to chew their way through fruits, vegetables, grains, insects, worms, and more. Pigs especially love to scavenge and will eat just about anything, using their versatile chompers to grind it all up.
And those strong jaws and grinding teeth come in handy for pigs to modify their environments, just like humans do. Pigs use their snouts and teeth like little shovels, digging and rooting around in the dirt for food. They’ll even chomp apart roots and tough vegetation to make cozy nests for sleeping and giving birth.