Wait, goldfish have teeth? Why yes, they do! Their teeth are called pharyngeal (far-in-jee-uhl) teeth because they’re located at the very back of the mouth, in the pharynx. These teeth are not sharp, but rather are blunt, and are used for crushing and grinding food material. Goldfish are continually losing and regrowing their teeth, similar to a shark. At the base of each mature tooth, there is a small developing tooth. When the old tooth falls out, the developing tooth is ready to take its place. Losing their teeth does not hurt them and the fish typically spit out the detached teeth from their mouths. If you’re in the right place at the right time, you could actually witness your fish spit out its tooth!
Don’t worry, the teeth are far back enough that there’s no risk of you being bitten by an inquisitive fish! It’s easy to find these teeth on the floor of your tank if you don’t use a substrate. I have collected many of them over the past few years, leading my friends and family to conclude that I’m absolutely nuts! And maybe I am… 🙂
I keep my collection in this little tooth case. What would the dentist think!
Here’s a photo of the teeth in my hand to show their small size.
Want to see more? Here’s a video!
So there you have it, goldfish teeth!