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Today I was performing a fish head dissection to investigate the gas exchange process in biology. Then when I opened the mouth I noticed these small hard structures at the base, I assume they may be a form of teeth that allows the fish to grind hard shells of invertebrates and plant matter. Yet I was curious as to why some fish have this and others don't and what exactly it's function is. Also if you have a name I would highly appreciate it as I can label it in my lab book. Thank you so much for your time.

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Yes those are teeth and some have them and some do not for the same reason some have sharp teeth wile others have flat scrapper teeth, it depends on their diet.

this kind of teeth are called molariform, and are used for crushing shellfish more than anything else. This slide show will help you, https://www.ru.ac.za/media/rhodesuniversity/content/ichthyology/documents/Anatomy%20Lecture%207.pdf

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