Octopod Teeth

PromachSpCOral-783523.jpg Many of you have probably seen this already. No doubt, you have said something like

This thing has teeth where a beak should be — disquietingly human teeth, at that.

The picture is disturbing to say the least and will haunt my dreams. So is the picture real? Yes.

The species is Promachoteuthis sulcus recently described by Young, Vecchione, and Roper. The published figure is…


What you see is the oral view of the brachial and buccal crown. The supposed teeth are papillae on the lips of the buccal mass common in cephalopods (See below).
Image from tolweb.org

11 Replies to “Octopod Teeth”

  1. I wish I hadn’t seen this right before going to bed…that freaky lookin’ mouth will haunt me tonight. Thanks.

  2. “The supposed teeth are papillae on the lips of the buccal mass common in cephalopods.”
    So these “teeth” are just meaty lips and the beak is somewhere inside or maybe totally ripped from the specimen?

  3. Plover,
    You are right it is oegopsid squid and thus decapodiformes. Most early blog post across the web misidentified it as a octopus thus the title. Forgot to mention this in the post. Thanks for catching it!

  4. I’m confused. I’ve seen pictures of beaks removed from the other Promachoteuthis specimens. They look like beaks. There is no description of the beak for this specimen (P. sulcus) – they stat that “The gladius and beaks were not removed from the squid for examination.” Therefore, the beak is still there.
    I’m not seeing it.

  5. CR,
    if you find out please post! It’s bugging the heck out of me, and I don’t have a teuthologist handy to ask if they do that a lot. (The squid, not the scientists.)

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