Pufferfish Anatomy: Do Puffer Fish Have Teeth?

do puffer fish have teeth

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In this post, we’re going to take a look at the puffer fish, and answer a question we find many readers asking: Do puffer fish have teeth?

The short answer to this is yes, they do have teeth. But not like the teeth that we humans have, they are slightly different and adapted for their specific diet.

Puffer fish are some of the deadliest fish in the sea and they contain a poison that is strong enough to kill 30 humans in just one small fish.

Let’s take a closer look…

Do Puffer Fish Actually Have Teeth?

Yes, puffer fish do have teeth. They have four teeth that are fused together to form a beak.

This fish also has incredibly powerful jaw muscles and combined with a strong beak, this allows them to easily crack open snails and crabs.

However, due to their diet and the type of food they eat, their teeth are constantly being eroded away. The puffer fishes teeth are constantly growing, so they need to keep feeding on these foods in order to keep their teeth nicely trimmed.

This is why you may have seen some videos online of people with pet puffer fish (I don’t know either..) having to take their fish to the veterinarian’s office to get their teeth trimmed.

If the puffer fish’s teeth grow too long, it can become uncomfortable for them and they may stop eating snails and clams like they usually would.

Often the pet owner will sedate the puffer fish using clove oil in the hopes that the fish will not puff up whilst having their teeth trimmed.

It’s usually a pretty straightforward process but should always be done with extreme caution, these fish can give you a nasty bite if they become defensive and they are also incredibly poisonous.

Do Puffer Fish Bite Humans?

Puffer fish are by no means starter pets, if you do happen to own one then the likelihood is that you’re an experienced aquarium owner who knows what you are doing.

These fish have been known to give humans some nasty bites, both as pets and in the wild too. Their large teeth are infused into a beak that is more than capable of chopping off your finger if you are not careful.

There have been countless examples where fishermen have gotten themselves bitten by handling these fish without protective gloves.

Puffer fish are biters, and if they do manage to get a hold of you then you will likely end up needing immediate treatment.

Their teeth are strong enough to crack clams and crab shells, and their jaw muscles are incredibly strong too. This combination makes for a nasty bite that can easily draw blood.

Always be careful around puffer fish, and if you are going to be handling them ensure you use protective gloves to minimize the risk of being bitten.

The puffer fish bite can be similar to that of a Piranha, it’s really not one to be taken lightly.

What Happens If A Puffer Fish Bites You?

Puffer fish come in all shapes and sizes and often can be found in murky water such as the Amazon. They are known to live in shallow waters which makes them a hazard for swimmers and fishermen.

Some people who are net fishing may end up accidentally catching a puffer fish, or even stepping on one which can leave them with a nasty bite that they won’t forget.

If you are unlucky enough to get bitten by a puffer fish, you should seek medical attention immediately.

These fish are incredibly toxic and can cause serious harm to you if unchecked.

Puffer fish contain a poison known as tetrodotoxin, it’s incredibly dangerous and can kill humans very quickly.

If you are bitten by a puffer fish, you will need to treat the wound like any other bite and ensure that it is cleaned and treated to prevent infection.

If you do start showing signs of poisoning, such as vomiting, nausea, and numbness, you should visit the emergency room immediately.

Final Thoughts

The puffer fish is not only deadly because of its poison, but also because of its sharp beak that can leave a nasty bite.

So do puffer fish have teeth? Absolutely, and very sharp ones at that. The puffer fishes teeth do not stop growing even in adulthood, and they need to keep eating hard foods such as snails and clams to keep them trimmed down.

They have four teeth that are fused together to form a beak, which gives them the ability to crack through hard objects effortlessly.

Hopefully, this post has been insightful and you now know a little more about puffer fish teeth than you did before reading this article.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I hope it has been helpful.