When you think of fish and teeth, what comes to mind? If you've ever seen the movie Jaws, then the large, razor-sharp teeth of the great white shark might come to mind. Or you might think of piranha, those tiny fish with the huge appetites for meat that can devour a large animal in a matter of minutes.
When it comes to large teeth, though, one peculiar fish stands out from the rest. Great white sharks have large teeth, but they're also huge fish. When teeth size is compared to head size, the Sloane's viperfish stands out from the crowd as the fish with the largest teeth!
How large are the teeth of the Sloane's viperfish? They're so large that, when the fish has its mouth closed, the teeth overlap the jaws! They're so large that it has to open its mouth to make its jaws vertical before it can swallow prey.
So do you need to be worried about encountering a Sloane's viperfish the next time you're at your local lake or river? Not likely! The Sloane's viperfish is a deep-sea dragonfish that makes makes its home in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world.
During the day, the Sloane's viperfish stays in deep water (from 2,000 to over 8,000 feet deep). At night, though, it will migrate a bit closer to the surface (less than 2,000 feet deep) where food can be found more easily.
The Sloane's viperfish eats smaller fish and crustaceans as prey. With such big teeth, how can it attract prey close enough to eat? The Sloane's viperfish has small photophores along its body that produce light. These small lights, along with a luminescent long dorsal fin ray, attract small fish to get close enough, so that the Sloane's viperfish can impale them with its long teeth.