Thursday, January 26, 2017

Teeth on the shore

Found at the tip of Tyee Spit:

Jawbone, with intact teeth. 3 1/2 inches long. On a piece of driftwood bark for contrast.

This looked, at first glance, like fish bones; flexible bones, very thin, porous. I took it home and Googled "Salmon jaw", and there it was; a long jaw with a line of small teeth behind and large, hooked ones in front. The arrangement varies with the species of salmon; I couldn't pin this one down.

Biting teeth from inside of jaw

Same teeth, outside of jaw. The bone is very porous.

Mature salmon eat smaller fish and invertebrates. The tooth arrangement seems to work for a quick capture and gulp style, with inward-turned hooks in front.


  1. What an interesting find. Great photos!

  2. I never realized salmon have such sharp teeth. Looks like they could give you a nasty bite!

  3. When you see pictures of them heading upstream you see those big teeth. - Margy

  4. wow what a find! I assumed the bones were much more fragile than that. Some of the male Sockeye jaws I have seen are fierce and boy those teeth are sharp.


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