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SMALLTOOTH SAWFISH

Pristis pectinata

Family: Pristidae 

Description: most unique feature is flat blade-like rostrum with 24 to 32 pairs of teeth. Large caudal tail that moves side-to-side, more similar to a shark than a ray. Large pectoral fins are flattened having a very similar body shape to a guitar fish. 

Size: maximum recorded size is 760 cm.

Weight: maximum published weight is 350 kg.

Sexual maturity: females over 400 cm and slightly less for males.

Reproduction: aplacental viviparous bearing 15-20 pups 

Average life span: unknown

Distribution: found from North Carolina, throughout Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea all the way to the coast of Argentina.

Diet: feeds on small fish, mollusks, and possibly crustaceans .

Status: critically endangered.

Human pressure: since populations are doing so poorly, the Smalltooth sawfish are unlikely to be intentionally targeted since the catch per unit effort would be so low. The sawfish can still be unintentionally captured as it becomes easily entangled with its long rostrum. The animal has historically been targeted for this valuable body part and sometimes its fins as well.