Changing Planet

Fish With Human-like Teeth


Pacu fish, cousins to the piranha and known as “frugivores,” have human-like teeth that can crack nuts and fruits.

They and many other kinds of species of fish with weird teeth are featured in “Hooked,” a new National Geographic Channel series that premieres on U.S. cable television tonight.


Also known as the “Vampire Fish,” The Payara earns its “vampire” nickname with a set of two-inch daggers thrusting up from its bottom jaw.

Photos © Julia Dorn/courtesy National Geographic Channel

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Zaranth

    I can accept the fish on second photo, but the teeths of the first one… this is just wrong… and creepy. Nature can be worse best horror movies.

  • GS Reese

    I love all the “live action” shots that were obviously taken after the fish had been initially landed.
    Dead or nearly so, the poor damned thing is tossed back and reeled in repeatedly in order to pad the footage with, laughably inauthentic, scenes of the fish’s “fight”.g

  • ssaira.sunder

    hats off to you.these pictures are amazing.wonderfull,god bless you .actually i’m too much interested in marine life,so it touch my heart.god bless you.but i’m i’m want some more details ok what so ever thanks.

  • Frog

    Wow.. He’s got better teeth than my ex!!

    Best I pucker up..

  • Angela

    I know someone who actually has fish in the creek near their home like what is showing in the first picture. Not the kind of fish you want to noodle for.

  • adjivon komlavi dodji

    j ai bien apprécié vos vidéos et la maniere dont vous étes entrains de préserver les éspeces et votre politiques de développement durables.en tant que géographe j’aimerai faire partie de vous.

  • oliver

    nice fish!!! do you have another one?

  • Sonu

    Why don’t you try livebearers (guppies, leptias, swordtails, mollies)?You could easily get some fancy guppies at a LFS.They’re very amusing and fun to watch; plus their bright colors really stand out of the tank.I’m not sure about you, but I really favour small, colorful fish.Or you could several gourami. Either dwarf or just normal sized, they’re really great tankmates. In my past experiences, they’re very beautiful and peaceful. I hope my suggestions have helped. I sell saltwater fish

  • Dave Barret

    I didn’t know that there is so much similarity for fish teeth and human teeth

  • Mark G.

    Does this mean they could be made into natural looking dentures or implanted into humans? I could use a few new teeth.

  • cmonkey

    They don’t have much for molars, so they must not have to do much chewing and would be great to see what the uppers look like!

  • Toby Bensimon

    This fish has teeth like our Australian rules football team Collingwood ..

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media