The bullhead is an interesting, smooth-skinned fish. It has a large mouth, and whiskers known as barbels. The barbels let the fish know what is nearby. They, along with thousands of taste buds covering the entire body, help the fish locate food in muddy water and at night. Many people think that the barbels can sting, but that's false! The bullhead has another defense; a spine concealed in its top and side fins. The stinging sensation sometimes felt when jabbed by the spine of the "Mad Tom," (a cousin of the bullhead) is caused by an irritating chemical produced in glands at the base of the spine. The bullhead can be found scavenging the bottom of quiet warm waters throughout North America looking for yummy dead stuff as well as insects, fish eggs and even young fish. Being a hardy animal, it can withstand polluted waters and very low oxygen levels. It gulps air at the surface if there's no oxygen in the water. You can make a fine dinner out of bullheads if you remove their skins and spines before cooking them.
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