Monday, October 28, 2013


Dear Friends, 

Normally, I would be blogging about some very endangered and unusual animals. However, today I am feeling very sorry for myself. You see, I have the worst set of teeth on the planet. You’re probably saying, ‘she exaggerates.’ Maybe so, but I’ve really had my share of drillings, scrapings, and pullings. Today, at the dentist, was no different. So this week am I going to discuss three CRITTERS who have unusual teeth. While I’m writing, I’ll think about the cost of the next dentist visit.

I do hope this post makes you smile! 

Critter No. 1 – The Dragonfish

I thought it would be fitting to start with this critter because it's from Australia.

Photo credit: Dr. Julian Finn, Museum Victoria

This banana sized fish lives in the depths of the oceans surrounding Australia.

The Australian Dragonfish eats other fish, and it has the teeth to do it. As a matter of fact, the Australian Dragonfish has teeth on its tongue! That just sounds terribly uncomfortable to me! 

Like other deep-sea fishes, the Dragonfish has photophores. A photophore is an organ that produces light. The photophores help to attract food and scare off preditors. Dragonfish are not dangerous to humans because they live in very deep cold waters. 

Spooky looking guy, isn’t he?! He has arrived just in time for Halloween. 

Critter No. 2 – The Sheepshead Fish


Sheepshead fish are a common North American marine species. They can be found from Cape Cod and Massachusetts through to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Brazil. They prefer coastal habitats, swimming around rock pilings, jetties, mangroves, and reef, etc. They can grow up to 35 inches in length and weigh up to 20 pounds. The Sheepshead fish is also known as the convict fish. The picture below will tell you why.

From what I’ve read, they are supposed to be very tasty, but I don’t think I’ll bite!

Critter No. 3 – The Saber-Toothed Deer

Next on our list of REALLY CREEPY dental arrangements is the Saber-Toothed Deer. YES, that's what I said, Deer. We’re talking Bambi on steroids. When I look at this picture I wonder whether or not Mother Nature was making fun of Bambi when she constructed this little guy.

The fangs are simply huge canine teeth, which have grown out of control. Saber-Tooted Deer don’t have antlers, just big long teeth. The Saber-Toothed deer is a member of the ‘musk deer’ family of ungulates. Ungulate is a fancy word referring to an animal with a hoof.

The Saber-Toothed Deer lives in forests of Asia, specifically China and Korea. Strangely enough, a few of them got loose from a zoo in England and France, and now there are small populations in both countries.

He has sweet eyes, and look at those soft ears, and coat...but the fangs, Dracula would be envious. From what I have read, this deer can even retract those fangs. WOW! 

The Saber-Toothed Deer weighs between 16 to 37 pounds, so it’s a bit smaller than the deer we are familiar with here in the US. Unfortunately, these frightening freaks of nature are threatened by poaching and illegal demand for their musk. Musk is a strong-smelling reddish-brown substance that is secreted by the male musk deer for scent marking. It is also used in making perfume. Conservation efforts and anti-poaching methods are essential to prevent the Saber-Toothed Deer from going the way of the saber-toothed tiger.

I hope you enjoyed this week's post. It was perfect for some pre-Halloween fun, and as I’m finishing up, I notice that my upper jaw feels just a bit better. However, I won’t be eating any candy this Halloween - have a milky-way on me. 

One last thing. I found a short video that is a bit of fun. 

J.E. Rogers