Do Fish With Big Lips Exist? Learn About Their Fin-tastic Features! | Kidadl


Do Fish With Big Lips Exist? Learn About Their Fin-tastic Features!

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Have you seen a picture of fishes with big lips?

What can be more attractive than a pair of big lips? However, when it comes to a fish with human-like lips and teeth, it appears strange at the first sight.

Earth's water bodies are home to innumerable fishes that greatly vary in body structure, size, color, appearance, and other features. Do you know about the fish with the largest lips in the world? It's the big-lip damselfish! As the name suggests, this ray-finned fish (Cheiloprion labiatus) belonging to the Pomacentridae family, exhibits huge lips. It can be found in the southwestern parts of the Pacific Ocean and eastern parts of the Indian Ocean. If you're lucky enough you might catch a glimpse of such unique fishes while scuba-diving in deep seawaters. Imagine a triggerfish or a Napoleon wrasse with its big human-like lips swimming past you!

Check out do fish have teeth and what do koi fish represent to read more interesting facts.

How do fish feed?

Like most animals, feeding among fishes involves the use of the entire mouth structure comprising the jaw, teeth, and lips. Let's learn how they feed in detail.

The mouthparts primarily aid the fish in its feeding habits. The teeth help in crushing nuts and seeds while it also simplifies the chewing process in carnivorous feeders. The herbivorous Pacu that inhabits the waters of South America indulges in a diet of nuts and seeds that remain afloat. The fleshy pair of lips are used to nimble and poke at objects. Also, lips contain taste buds that help in identifying palatable food both floating on the surface of the water and from the bottom of waterbodies. Are you aware that the Kissing Gouramis actually kiss each other not as a display of affection but to communicate?

Interesting Fish Features

Among all marine creatures, fishes are one of the most diverse with varying features. Here are some of them.

The common fangtooth is popular for its large teeth. Some like the frogfish are scaleless, while few others possess thick lips. Did you know that the shape of a boxfish is actually akin to a box? The jaw and mouthpart render a unique look to some fishes like the parrotfish that display a mouth shaped like a beak. Did you get hold of a picture of the triggerfish yet? Found in Malaysia, the fish has recently grabbed a lot of attention across the world for its thick and plump lips. The Picasso triggerfish is a variant that can be spotted in the Red Sea, in Egypt. The walking catfish found in the UK, the USA, Papua New Guinea, China, Philippines, and Taiwan has whiskers in addition to fleshy lips. On the other hand, only the upper lip of the Thicklip grey mullet is fleshy and big.

Do fish have mouths?

Have you ever come across a fish with huge lips that bear an uncanny resemblance to a pair of pouty human lips? The question is, does a fish really possess lips like a human? Let's find out what is meant by the lip of a fish and its functions.

The answer is yes! Just like a human lip, some fish appears to possess protruding structures surrounding their mouth that cover up the entire jaw portion as well as the teeth present inside. This structure differs from one fish to another depending upon its feeding habits and diet. Additionally, ecosystems also play a vital role in shaping the mouth structure of a fish. The triggerfish possesses a set of strong teeth that can potentially tear apart the flesh of the prey or even destroy diving suits with ease. It is known for projecting a great amount of aggression towards its prey such as sea urchins.

Cichlid aquarium fish underwater.

Why do fishes have big lips?

Let's unravel the mystery behind the big lips that some fish species possess and understand their usefulness.

The shape of each lip as well as the teeth reflects the dietary habits of the fish. Generally, both the upper and lower lips are extremely thin while in some cases, they're completely absent. Apparently, thick, fleshy lips play no significant role in the process of feeding but they are mostly witnessed in fishes that extract food (both herbivorous as well as carnivorous) from the substratum. Lips undoubtedly add to the charm of the fish but they're mostly used in plucking and scooping food.

Human Vs Fish Mouth

While you will most likely come across people with big lips in your daily life, large-sized lips among fishes are a rarity. So, where’s the difference?

Well, there's little to no difference. Unlike humans, all fishes do not possess big luscious lips. Some like the tuna and mackerel are lipless. A human uses its mouthparts to chew and munch food to aid digestion. The function is similar in a fish. Apart from the triggerfish of Malaysia, some other fish species also display human-like chompers. For instance, the inner mouthparts of an adult sheepshead fish consist of teeth used for munching on hard-shelled creatures like oysters, crabs, and clams. Numerable molars lined in a row coupled with the muscular jaw help the species in devouring its prey. Recently, fishkeepers are obsessed with the elegant-looking blue dolphin cichlid that can be traced in Lake Malawi, in Africa. The pronounced bump on the head, the blue hue along the enormous set of lips render the fish a marvelous appeal. It appears as if the fish is constantly pouting with its human-like lips! Lake Malawi is also replete in the population of the big-lipped Mdoka. The lips of this carnivorous fish are colored white, making it a distinct look.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for fish with big lips then why not take a look at what do betta fish eat or brook trout facts.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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