Pharyngeal teeth - located on the modified fifth pair of gill arches, used for crushing, grinding, crushing and pulverising vegetation, molluscs, worms, insect larvae and other food. They are divided into one, two and three rows. Structure: elongated, grasping, with a hook at the end or without a hook (carp), grasping with a folded (bream) and flat chewing surface (carp), hollow (barbel). Rootless, replaced throughout life, pharyngeal teeth only on upper jaw or only on lower jaw. Most developed in carps. The number, shape and position of the pharyngeal teeth vary between fish species, which is important in determining the species.
Pharyngeal teeth are the teeth in the pharyngeal arch of the throat of carp, suckers and a number of other species of fish that are otherwise toothless. Many popular aquarium fish, such as goldfish and loaches, have this structure. Members of the genus Botia, such as clownfish, are known to make a distinctive clicking noise when they grind their pharyngeal teeth. Grunts (family Haemulidae) are so called because of the sound they make when they grind. Grunts are said to be able to produce sounds by grinding their long, claw-like pharyngeal teeth. The Chinese high fin striped shark (Myxocyprinus asiaticus) (family Catostomidae) has a single row of corrugated pharyngeal teeth. The caped shark (family Carpidae) has only pharyngeal teeth, similar to other omnivorous sharks. Sunfishes (family Centrarchidae) have thick pharyngeal teeth consisting of hard, movable plates, which they use to crush the exoskeletons of their prey. The pharyngeal jaws of moray eels (family Muraenidae) have their own set of teeth. The teeth of the phantom knifefish Sternarchogiton nattereri (family Apteronotidae) have upper and lower pharyngeal plates with 9-11 and 7-9 teeth respectively. The mouth cone ("everted pharynx") of a possible new species Meiopriapulus, a marine worm in Priapulida, bears pharyngeal teeth. The fossils Yunnanozoon and Haikouella have pharyngeal teeth. The lower pharyngeal bones of cichlids also have specialised teeth that enlarge their normal lower teeth when splitting food.
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