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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Smalltooth Sawfish Pristis pectinata

Sawfish are elongated rays with a long, flat, sawlike snout, or rostrum, which they use to slash through shoals of fish and dig for shellfish and invertebrates. Like all rays, they have gill slits on the underside of the body rather than the sides. Females give birth to live young, which are about 2 ft (60 cm) long in the smalltooth species. The saws of the pups are sheathed and flexible at birth, in order to prevent injury to the mother.

The smalltooth sawfish lives in coastal waters but also swims up river estuaries. Numbers of this species are severely depleted and it is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.

Smalltooth Sawfishzoom image
  • Order Rajiformes
  • Length Up to 25 ft (7.6 m)
  • Weight Up to 770 lb (350 kg)
  • Depth 0–33 ft (0–10 m)
  • Distribution Subtropical waters in all oceans
Smalltooth Sawfish habitat mapzoom image