/sheeps"hed'/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) sheepshead, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) sheepsheads for 1-3.
1. a deep-bodied, black-banded food fish, Archosargus probatocephalus, living along the Atlantic coast of the U.S.
2. a freshwater drum, Aplodinotus grunniens, of eastern North America.
3. sheephead.
4. Also called schafskopf. Cards. an earlier and simpler form of skat.
5. Obs. a foolish or stupid person.
[1535-45; SHEEP + 'S1 + HEAD]

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Species (Archosargus probatocephalus) of popular edible sport fish in the porgy family, common along southern North American Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

The species has inexplicably become very rare from New England to the Chesapeake Bay area, where it was once prevalent. Sheepsheads have a high forehead and a compressed silver body with wide, dark, vertical bands, most distinct in juveniles. The large flat teeth crush and grind crustaceans and hard-shelled mollusks. Adults are typically 2–2.5 ft (60–75 cm) long and weigh about 20 lbs (9 kg).

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▪ Archosargus probatocephalus
      (Archosargus probatocephalus), popular edible sport fish in the family Sparidae (order Perciformes), common in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters of the southern North American coast. Although once prevalent in the New England to Chesapeake Bay area, the species has inexplicably become very rare.

      Sheepshead are characteristically large fish with compressed bodies and high foreheads. The body colour is silver with broad, dark vertical bands that are most distinct in juveniles. The large flat teeth are used for crushing and grinding not only crustaceans but also mollusks such as clams and oysters. Adult sheepshead commonly range in length from 60 to 75 cm (2 to 2 1/2 feet). Some specimens have been known to exceed 1 m (3 feet) and weight more than 11 kg (25 pounds).

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Universalium. 2010.

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