Catfish is one of the most resilient fish species in the world. They can survive under conditions that most fish species cannot. They are mostly found in rivers and streams, ponds and reservoirs, and mainly feed in small fish, snails, clams, aquatic insects, and other small animals. They don’t have scales the way most fish do. Instead, they have whiskers known as barbels on their face that helps them to taste, smell and find food with ease in even when in water with low visibility. You have probably heard of stories of catfish biting people. So, do catfish have teeth? In this post, we are going to answer all the dangers of catfish, including if they do have teeth.
Do catfish have teeth?
Yes, catfish have some form of teeth, but the type of teeth that they have is different from what you think. Catfish are omnivorous, meaning that they eat pretty much anything that comes their way. However, they don’t have strong, sharp teeth as it is the case with other big fish species. Their teeth are small and dense. It is important to note that when a catfish feeds, it sucks and gulp, as opposed to biting. So they don’t use their teeth to bite or chew food but rather prevent their prey from escaping. Their teeth are tilted inwards and are abrasive. They resemble very hard sandpaper. The fact that they are titled inwards means that it is easy to get into the catfish mouth but hard to get out.
Can catfish bite you?
The anatomy of catfish teeth does not allow them to bite. The catfish bit can hurt your skin, but it cannot cause any severe injuries that require medical attention. This is because their teeth are caved inwards hence tricky for them to bite someone. Even if you put your fingers into a catfish mouth, it will not bite them. Their teeth are insignificant and harmless.
Can catfish sting you?
Another common question that most people ask is whether catfish can sting. The answer is No; a catfish cannot hurt. However, when handling a catfish, you need to be very careful about its fins because they are very sharp and can cut you. The cut from the spine can be quite painful but not life-threatening. Catfish do not have scale as it is usually the case with other fish specifies. So, handling them is quite tricky because of their slippery nature. The only thing that you need to be wary off is the catfish fins. If you stay away from them, then you will be safe.
Do catfish have venom?
Yes, some catfish species have venom in their spines in some sections of their fins. If you accidentally cut yourself in fins that have venom, then you will feel a lot of pain, and if you don’t clean the wound fast, then it can develop to an infection just like any other type of wound would. However, it is essential to point out that catfish venom is not life-threatening to humans in any way. However, there are stories of a catfish species that live in some parts of the Indian Ocean and has a very poisonous venom that can kill humans. This should not worry you because this is a rare species that live in the Indian Ocean. Most anglers fish catfish in freshwater bodies. So, it is very much unlikely that you will ever cross paths with this fish species. Catfish species around the world are around 3000, and a vast majority of them are harmless to humans.
What do catfish use their venom for?
Of course, you might be wondering what catfish use their venom for if they are not life-threatening to humans. Catfish use their venom to defend themselves against their natural enemies. Remember that humans are not catfish natural enemies, and that is probably the reason why their venom is not poisonous to us. However, the fact that their venom is not deadly to us does not mean that it is not lethal to other fish species. If they feel threatened, they can release the poison to protect themselves.
Do catfish bite hurt?
Yes, it does, but the pain usually subsides within a few minutes. The catfish bite is similar to rubbing your skin with sandpaper. It not very hurtful but unpleasant.
In conclusion, if you have never caught a catfish before but you are planning to start capturing and releasing them, but you are wondering if they have teeth, then today you have the answer. Catfish have small teeth that cannot bite or cause any harm to you.