A photo of a fish with human-like teeth is going viral, but experts believe it's edited
- A photo of a fish that seemingly sports human-like lips and teeth has captured Twitter's attention.
- Many took to the comments to debate whether the picture, posted by Twitter user Raff Nasir, was real.
- Marine biologist Lufti Afiq Rosli told Insider the photo was of a blackbelly triggerfish, but said it doesn't seem 100% authentic.
- "The teeth photo seems doctored to me," he said. "Most triggerfish do not have teeth like that. Usually, they have a set of two canine teeth on the top and another set at the bottom."
- Nasir did not claim his photo wasn't edited, and hasn't responded to Insider's request for comment.
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A new photo of a fish that seemingly sports human-like lips and teeth has captured the internet's attention.
The picture, posted by Twitter user Raff Nasir on July 2, shows a multi-coloured fish with lips and chompers that look straight out of a toothpaste ad.
"Her lips are hotter than mine," Nasir wrote in the caption (translated from Indonesian).
At the time of writing, the photo has racked up more than 14,000 likes and 8,000 retweets, along with a number of comments debating its authenticity.
It's worth noting that Nasir did not claim his photo wasn't edited, and he hasn't responded to Insider's request for comment.
While most commenters were focused on the fish's lips - which are a trait of triggerfish - some experts think the teeth may have been edited to make the fish's mouth appear more human.
I thought this was Photoshop when I first saw it— Bilikis MÃ¡fáº¹ FÃ¡gbÃ¨mÃ (@bilimaffy) July 15, 2020
It's a Picasso triggerfish. Very peacefull and lovely to watch while diving.— Karlijn Ribbers (@karlijnribbers) July 15, 2020
Some said the photo was clearly of a triggerfish, including marine biologist Lufti Afiq Rosli.
No, it doesn't. Parrotfishes are classified under Scaridae while Triggerfishes are classified under Balistidae. More importantly, these two have different ecological roles. The fish in the original post is clearly a Blackbelly Triggerfish.— Lutfi Afiq Rosli (@LutfiAfiq) July 3, 2020
"Upon seeing the red line that runs straight from its snout to its pectoral fins, and the black patch on its belly, I kind of guessed that it was a blackbelly triggerfish," Rosli, who is a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore, told Insider. "I subsequently checked on some photos on the internet as well as confirmed the ID using Gerald Allen's identification guide book and the website FishBase."
While blackbelly triggerfish can be found "all around the tropical West-Indo Pacific," Rosli does not believe that the Twitter photo is 100% authentic.
"The teeth photo seems doctored to me," he said. "Most triggerfish do not have teeth like that. Usually, they have a set of two canine teeth on the top and another set at the bottom. These help them catch their prey, which is usually shellfishes on the reef floor."
Mark Schick, the senior director of animal operations and habitats at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Illinois, also believes that the photo has been partially edited.
"The shot of the teeth looks Photoshopped to me," he told Insider. "Triggers have more canine-like teeth. I could see them being worn down so the points would be gone, but they look flat at the base like human teeth and not cone-shaped."
Rosli said a picture of a blackbelly triggerfish is still rare.
"They are a shy species and usually avoid human contact," he added. "If you're a diver, you rarely see them around. They are also not usually caught for commercial fisheries. If they are caught it is mostly as a bycatch, which is probably the case for our friend in the picture."
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