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Encyclopedia > Sawfish
Sawfishes
Smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata
Smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Chondrichthyes
Subclass: Elasmobranchii
Superorder: Batoidea
Order: Pristiformes
Family: Pristidae
Genera

Anoxypristis
Pristis
See text for species. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 313 pixelsFull resolution‎ (1,800 × 705 pixels, file size: 212 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) A Sawfish swimming in the Ocean Voyager tank of the Georgia Aquarium on 23rd January, 2006. ... Binomial name Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794 The smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow subtropical waters circumglobally, between latitudes 44° N and 37° S. Its length is up to 7. ... The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species continuing to survive either in the present day or the future. ... Image File history File links Status_iucn3. ... . ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes See below Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates. ... Subclasses and Orders See text. ... Superorders Batoidea (rays and skates) Selachimorpha (sharks) Elasmobranchii is the subclass of cartilaginous fish that includes skates, rays (batoidea) and sharks (selachii). ... Orders Rajiformes - common rays and skates Pristiformes - sawfishes Torpediniformes - electric rays See text for families. ... Binomial name Garman, 1884 The knifetooth sawfish or pointed sawfish, Anoxypristis cuspidata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, the only member of the genus Anoxypristis, found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, and southern Japan to northern Australia. ...

Sawfishes are a family of marine animals related to sharks and rays. Their most striking appearance is a long, toothy snout. They are the sole family Pristidae of the order Pristiformes, from the Greek and Latin pristis meaning "sawfish" (cf. Greek πριστήρ pristēr meaning "saw"). Look up sawfish in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Shark (disambiguation). ... Orders Rajiformes - common rays and skates Pristiformes - sawfishes Torpediniformes - electric rays See text for families. ... Portable saw A saw is a tool for cutting wood or other material, consisting of a serrated blade (a blade with the cutting edge dentated or toothed) and worked either by hand or by steam, water, electric or other power. ...


They are not to be confused with sawsharks (order Pristiophoriformes), which have a similar physical appearance. Species See text. ... Species Pliotrema warreni Pristiophorus cirratus Pristiophorus japonicus Pristiophorus nudipinnis Pristiophorus schroederi The sawsharks or saw sharks are an order (Pristiophoriformes) of sharks bearing long blade-like snouts edged with teeth, which they use to slash and disable their prey. ...


All species of sawfish are considered endangered, or critically endangered and international trade is banned.[2] An endangered species is a species whose population is so small that it is in danger of becoming extinct. ... An endangered species is a species whose population is so small that it is in danger of becoming extinct. ...

Contents

Description

The most eye-catching feature of the sawfish is their saw-like snout, called a rostrum. The rostrum is covered with motion- and electro-sensitive pores that allow sawfish to detect movement and even heartbeats of buried prey in the ocean floor. The rostrum acts like a metal detector as the sawfish hovers over the bottom, looking for hidden food. It is also used as a digging tool to unearth buried crustaceans. When a suitable prey swims by, the normally lethargic sawfish will spring from the bottom and slash at it furiously with its saw. This generally stuns or injures the prey sufficiently for the sawfish to devour it without much resistance. Sawfish have also been known to defend themselves with their rostrum, against predators (like sharks) and intruding divers. The "teeth" protruding from the rostrum are not real teeth, but modified denticle scales (The scales of a sawfish have a similar structure to its teeth, confusing the distinction somewhat). Rostrum can mean one of several different things: A rostrum (Latin beak) is an anatomical structure resembling a birds beak, such as the snout of crocodiles or dolphins or the part of the carapace of a crustacean. ... Classes Remipedia Cephalocarida Branchiopoda Ostracoda Maxillopoda Malacostraca The crustaceans (Crustacea) are a large group of arthropods (55,000 species), usually treated as a subphylum. ... In this SEM image of a butterfly wing the scales are clearly visible, and the tiny platelets on each individual scale are just barely visible in the striping. ...

A plate sketching of a sawfish.
A plate sketching of a sawfish.

The body and head of a sawfish is flat as they spend most of their time lying on the sea floor. Like rays, the sawfish's mouth and nares are located on its flat underside. The mouth is lined with small, dome-shaped teeth for eating small fish and crustaceans; though sometimes the fish swallows them whole. Sawfishes breathe with two spiracles just behind the eyes that draw water to the gills. The skin is covered with tiny dermal denticles (skin-teeth) that gives the fish a rough texture. Sawfishes are usually light grey or brown; the smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, appears olive green. A plate sketching of a sawfish. ... A plate sketching of a sawfish. ... Look up texture in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Binomial name Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794 The smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow subtropical waters circumglobally, between latitudes 44° N and 37° S. Its length is up to 7. ...


Like other elasmobranchs, sawfishes lack a swim bladder and use a large, oil-filled liver instead to keep them buoyant. Their skeleton is made of cartilage. Superorders Galeomorpha Batoidea Selachimorpha Elasmobranchii is the subclass of cartilaginous fishes that includes skates, rays and sharks. ... The gas bladder (also fish maw, less accurately swim bladder or air bladder) is an internal organ that contributes to the ability of a fish to control its buoyancy, and thus to stay at the current water depth, ascend, or descend without having to waste energy in swimming. ... For the bird, see Liver bird. ... In physics, buoyancy is an upward force on an object immersed in a fluid (i. ... Cartilage is a type of dense connective tissue. ...


The eyes of sawfish are undeveloped due to their muddy habitat. The rostrum is the main sensory device.


The intestines are shaped like a corkscrew, called a spiral-valve. The intestine is the portion of the alimentary canal extending from the stomach to the anus and, in humans and other mammals, consists of two segments, the small intestine and the large intestine. ... A basic corkscrew A waiters corkscrew A corkscrew is a tool for drawing stopping corks from bottles. ...


The smallest sawfish is the 1.4 m (4.6 foot) dwarf sawfish, Pristis clavata, a species much smaller than most other sawfish. The largest species seem to be the largetooth sawfish, Pristis microdon and the southern sawfish, Pristis perotteti, both of which can exceed 7 m (23 feet) in length. One southern sawfish, whose length for some reason went unmeasured, was said to have weighed 2,455 kg (5,400 lb). Binomial name Pristis clavata Garman, 1906 The dwarf sawfish or Queensland sawfish, Pristis clavata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow tropical Australian waters between latitudes 10° S and 22° S. Its length is up to 1. ... Binomial name Pristis microdon Latham, 1794 The largetooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans from East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to the Philippines and Viet Nam, and south to Australia, between latitudes 11° N and 39... Binomial name Pristis perotteti Müller & Henle, 1841 The large-tooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in tropical waters of the north Atlantic and the central Pacific, between latitudes 32° N and 19° S. Its length is up to 6. ... Binomial name Pristis perotteti Müller & Henle, 1841 The large-tooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in tropical waters of the north Atlantic and the central Pacific, between latitudes 32° N and 19° S. Its length is up to 6. ...


Distribution and habitat

Sawfish are found in tropical and sub-tropical areas around Africa and Australia and in the Caribbean, and frequently ascend far into rivers. They are also found in bays and estuaries. The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ... Subtropical (or semitropical) areas are those adjacent to the tropics, usually roughly defined as the ranges 23. ... West Indies redirects here. ... For the Second World War frigate class, see River class frigate The Murray River in Australia A waterfall on the Ova da Fedoz, Switzerland A river is a large natural waterway. ... Bay redirects here. ... An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water which has a free connection with the open sea and within which sea water mixes with fresh water. ...


Sawfish live only in shallow, muddy water and can be found in both freshwater and saltwater. Most prefer river mouths and freshwater systems. All sawfish have the ability to traverse between fresh and saltwater, and often do so. For the village on the Isle of Wight, see Freshwater, Isle of Wight. ... Annual mean sea surface salinity for the World Ocean. ...


Behavior

Sawfishes are nocturnal, usually sleeping during the day, hunting at night. Despite fearsome appearances, they are gentle fishes and will not attack humans unless provoked or surprised. The smalltooth sawfish is well known by fishermen as a prize game fish because of the fight it puts up once hooked. Capturing sawfishes is illegal in the United States and Australia. A nocturnal animal is one that sleeps during the day and is active at night - the opposite of the human (diurnal) schedule. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ...


Reproduction

Little is known about the reproduction habits of the sawfish. Each individual lives around 25 to 30 years, and matures at 10 years. For other uses, see Reproduction (disambiguation) Reproduction is the biological process by which new individual organisms are produced. ...


Females give live birth to pups, whose semi-hardened rostrum is covered with a rubbery envelope. This prevents the pup from injuring its mother during birth. The rubbery envelope eventually disintegrates and falls off.


The sawfish is estimated to mate once every two years, with an average litter of around eight pups. They mature slowly - it is estimated that they don't reproduce until they're 3.5 to 4 meters long and 10 to 12 years old - and reproduce at immensely lower rates than most fish do. This makes the animals especially slow to recover from overfishing.[3]


Species

Binomial name Garman, 1884 The knifetooth sawfish or pointed sawfish, Anoxypristis cuspidata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, the only member of the genus Anoxypristis, found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, and southern Japan to northern Australia. ... Binomial name Anoxypristis cuspidata Garman, 1884 The knifetooth sawfish or pointed sawfish, Anoxypristis cuspidata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, the only member of the genus Anoxypristis, found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, and southern Japan to... Binomial name Anoxypristis cuspidata Garman, 1884 The knifetooth sawfish or pointed sawfish, Anoxypristis cuspidata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, the only member of the genus Anoxypristis, found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, and southern Japan to... John Latham John Latham (June 27, 1740 - February 4, 1837) was an English physician, naturalist and author. ... Binomial name Pristis clavata Garman, 1906 The dwarf sawfish or Queensland sawfish, Pristis clavata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow tropical Australian waters between latitudes 10° S and 22° S. Its length is up to 1. ... Binomial name Pristis clavata Garman, 1906 The dwarf sawfish or Queensland sawfish, Pristis clavata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow tropical Australian waters between latitudes 10° S and 22° S. Its length is up to 1. ... Samuel Garman (1846- 1927) was a naturalist/ zoologist from Pennsylvania. ... Binomial name Pristis microdon Latham, 1794 The largetooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans from East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to the Philippines and Viet Nam, and south to Australia, between latitudes 11° N and 39... Binomial name Pristis microdon Latham, 1794 The largetooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans from East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to the Philippines and Viet Nam, and south to Australia, between latitudes 11° N and 39... John Latham John Latham (June 27, 1740 - February 4, 1837) was an English physician, naturalist and author. ... Binomial name Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794 The smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow subtropical waters circumglobally, between latitudes 44° N and 37° S. Its length is up to 7. ... Binomial name Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794 The smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in shallow subtropical waters circumglobally, between latitudes 44° N and 37° S. Its length is up to 7. ... John Latham John Latham (June 27, 1740 - February 4, 1837) was an English physician, naturalist and author. ... Binomial name Pristis perotteti Müller & Henle, 1841 The large-tooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in tropical waters of the north Atlantic and the central Pacific, between latitudes 32° N and 19° S. Its length is up to 6. ... Binomial name Pristis perotteti Müller & Henle, 1841 The large-tooth sawfish, Pristis microdon, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in tropical waters of the north Atlantic and the central Pacific, between latitudes 32° N and 19° S. Its length is up to 6. ... Johannes Peter Müller (July 14, 1801, Koblenz – April 28, 1858, Berlin), was a German physiologist, comparative anatomist, and ichthyologist not only known for his discoveries but also for his ability to synthesize knowledge. ... Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle (b. ... Binomial name Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758) The common sawfish, Pristis pristis, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, between latitudes 45° N and 17° S. Its length is up to 5 m. ... Binomial name Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758) The common sawfish, Pristis pristis, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, between latitudes 45° N and 17° S. Its length is up to 5 m. ... Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 13, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... In biology and ecology, extinction is the ceasing of existence of a species or group of species. ... Binomial name Pristis zijsron Bleeker, 1851 The longcomb sawfish, Pristis zijsron, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific oceans, from the Red Sea and east Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to southern China, and south to New South Wales, Australia... Binomial name Pristis zijsron Bleeker, 1851 The longcomb sawfish, Pristis zijsron, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, found in tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific oceans, from the Red Sea and east Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to southern China, and south to New South Wales, Australia... Pieter Bleeker (1819 - 1878) was a Dutch medical doctor and ichthyologist, famous for his work on the fishes of East Asia. ...

Conservation

Sawfish seen from below, inside an underwater tunnel at Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas.
Sawfish seen from below, inside an underwater tunnel at Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas.

All species of sawfish are considered endangered, or critically endangered. As well as being accidentally caught in fishing nets sawfish are also hunted for their rostrum (which is prized as a curiosity by some), their fins (which are eaten as a delicacy), their liver oil and for use as medicine. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 565 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 565 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Royal Towers joined by the Bridge. ... An endangered species is a species whose population is so small that it is in danger of becoming extinct. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


It is illegal to capture Sawfish in the United States and in Australia. The sale of smalltooth sawfish rostra is also prohibited in the United States under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); the sale of other sawfish rostra remains legal however due to the fact that most rostra on the American market are from the smalltooth sawfish. Very few laymen can differentiate the species from which the rostra originated and it is therefore generally advised not to purchase sawfish rostra at all. The Endangered Species Act (, et seq. ... In religious organizations , the laity comprises all lay persons, i. ...


Habitat destruction is another threat to sawfish conservation. Habitat destruction is a process of land use change in which one habitat-type is removed and replaced with another habitat-type. ...


Sawfishes are difficult to conserve in aquaria because it appears they may require a blend of saltwater and freshwater to stay healthy. However, the amount and duration of exposure are uncertain. “Aquaria” redirects here. ...


As of June 2007 the international trade of sawfish has been banned by the CITES convention.[4] An exception is made to Australia to export live specimens for use in aquaria. It is believed that exhibiting sawfish will raise awareness and therefore help with conservation. Some feel Australia requested this right for financial motives and that it will be detrimental for the survival of sawfish.[2] The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement between Governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). ... A 335,000 U.S. gallon (1. ...


Cultural perception

Sawfish became a powerful symbol in many cultures. Aztecs revered sawfish as an "Earth monster." Its rostrum is used by some Asian shamans for exorcisms and other ceremonies to repel demons and disease, which has contributed to its demise.[3]


References

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  1. ^ 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 June 2007
  2. ^ a b http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6740609.stm
  3. ^ a b Raloff, Janet (2007). Hammered Saws, Science News vol. 172, pp. 90-92.
  4. ^ (3-15 June 2007) "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora". ': CoP14 Prop. 17, The Hague: Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
Sawfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (861 words)
Sawfishes are found in tropical and sub-tropical areas around Africa and Australia and in the Caribbean, and frequently swim far into rivers.
As well as being accidentally caught in fishing nets sawfish are also hunted for their rostrum (which is prized as a curiosity by some), their fins (which are eaten as a delicacy), their liver oil and for use as medicine.
Sawfishes are difficult to conserve in aquaria because it appears they may require a blend of saltwater and freshwater to stay healthy.
Sawfish - Picture - MSN Encarta (89 words)
Although sharklike in appearance, sawfish are actually a type of ray and are distinguished by the presence of gill openings on the lower surface of the head rather than on the sides of the head as in sharks.
The sawfish snout is elongated into a broad, flat sword with opposing rows of large teeth.
Sawfish are common in the shallow coastal waters of tropical seas and can ascend moderate distances up freshwater rivers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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