Pacific lingcod, a fish with 555 teeth loses up to 20 everyday & grows them back immediately

The carnivorous fish, Pacific lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) is not a discovery but little had been known about its hundreds of teeth and how it keeps them razor-sharp.

Pacific lingcod, a fish with 555 loses up to 20 everyday & grows them back immediately

Researchers have found that the 20-inch (on average) fish loses up to 20 of its 555 teeth every day and grow them back immediately.

Unlike other carnivores that have incisors, molars, and canines, Pacific lingcod has hundreds of nearly microscopic teeth hidden in its jaws.

Researchers at the University of South Florida and the University of Washington sought to uncover the mystery surrounding lingcod’s tooth-shedding.

They placed about 20 of them in a tank filled with a diluted fluorescent dye called alizarin red for 12hours, which stained the fish’s teeth red.

According to, the sampled Pacific lingcod fishes “were then put in tanks spiked with another fluorescent dye, calcein fluorescein, which turned new teeth green. So, teeth that were in place one day were red, while those that appeared later were green.”

The researchers took their time to count and classify all the coloured teeth of the 20 specimens, coming up with a total of 10,580 teeth, the news website said.

The discovery has shocked the researchers themselves. Doctoral student and co-author Karly Cohen is quoted as saying: “It blew our minds that fish were replacing their teeth this quickly. For you and I, that looks like waking up every morning and losing a single tooth.”


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: