California sheephead

Sheephead kelp background

The California sheephead is a wrasse found in (you guessed it) California. It has powerful jaws and sharp teeth that can crush urchins and hard-shelled mollusks. A closely related sheephead has the following dental structure:

Sheephead teeth

Yes, that’s a real picture. That guy has some straight and shiny pearly whites!

Like parrotfish, sheephead wrap themselves in a mucus cocoon at night while sleeping to mask their scent from predators.

As a side note, sea hares have an extremely good sense of smell. They can detect even the faintest smell with their rhinophores (“bunny ears”), which they use to find food or mates… I wonder if they could sniff out a sheephead mucus cocoon.



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