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Biology

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The sawfish uses its saw to catch prey in two ways; firstly by using it as a rake to sift through the sand for crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps, and secondly by using it as a sword to swipe through schools of shoaling fish such as mullet, lacerating or stunning individuals. The smalltooth sawfish is predated on by sharks, but only when it is young and undersized (2) (3). Little is known about the life cycle of the smalltooth sawfish but it is thought to breed year round in areas of constant climate, but elsewhere, only in the summer. Fertilisation is internal and the pups develop inside the female, who gives birth a year later to 15 to 20 pups. The saws of the newborns are sheathed and malleable at birth for protection. The pups are around 60 cm long at birth (3) (4) (5).
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Conservation

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Florida has established three wildlife refuges to protect the habitat of the smalltooth sawfish and in the hope that numbers might increase sufficiently for re-colonisation of other areas (3). It has been protected from harvesting in Florida since 1992 and over the rest of American waters since 2003 (5). Research into smalltooth sawfish life-history and population distribution, as well as education and awareness initiatives, may help to prevent further decline of this species, but these efforts must be made worldwide to ensure the protection of this amazing fish (6).
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Description

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The smalltooth sawfish gets its name from the Greek word 'pristis', meaning saw and the small teeth that line the edges of its saw, which are not as large as those of other members of the sawfish family. The sawfish has a flattened shark-shaped body, brown to bluish-grey in colour, with a white underside, and wing-shaped pectoral fins. The saw is a quarter of the total length of the body and has between 25 and 32 pairs of small, sharp teeth which are longer and less broad towards the end of the saw. The mouth is on the underside and contains 10 to 12 rows of teeth in both jaws. The upper side of the sawfish is covered in rough tooth-like scales, whereas the underside is coated in smooth tooth-like scales (2) (3).
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Habitat

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The smalltooth sawfish can exist both in saltwater and freshwater, tending to prefer fairly shallow water with muddy or sandy bottoms such as rivers, streams, lakes, creeks, bays, lagoons, and estuaries. Although the smalltooth sawfish prefers depths of no more than 120 m, it will cross deep oceans to reach new areas of coastline (1) (2) (3) (4).
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Range

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The historical distribution of this species was worldwide, although recent declines in number mean that the smalltooth sawfish is now absent from many sites. In American waters, the smalltooth sawfish used to be prevalent in coastal areas from New York, around the Floridian peninsula and along as far as Texas (1) (2) (3).
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Status

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The smalltooth sawfish is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List and as Endangered under the United States National Marine Fisheries Service (2).
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Threats

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The smalltooth sawfish has been over-fished both intentionally and as by-catch. Accidentally caught sawfish are rarely returned to the water alive as they are difficult to disentangle from nets and are dangerous to fishermen. Sawfish are purposefully caught for sport, for food and for their oil, which is used to make soap, medicine and for polishing leather, as well as for their saws which are removed and sold as curios. Habitat modification is also contributing to the decline of this species, which is slow to recover from population crashes due to slow maturation and a long reproductive cycle (1) (2) (3).
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Comprehensive Description

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The Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) has a snout that is extended as a long, flattened blade (around a quarter of the total length of the fish) with 24 or more teeth along each side.. The dorsal fin originates directly over the pelvic fin insertion. The caudal (tail) fin is large and shark-like. Smalltooth Sawfish may reach 5.5 m in length. They are found in estuaries, the lower parts of large rivers, and shallow coastal waters. Historically, Smalltooth Sawfish occurred from Chesapeake Bay (rarely as far north as New York), Bermuda, and the northern Gulf of Mexico south to Brazil or northern Argentina, as well as in the eastern Atlantic. However, during the past fifty to a hundred years, they appear to have been extirpated from much of their former range and are now formally listed as endangered. (Boschung et al. 1983; Robins and Ray 1986; Poulakis et al. 2011) In the Atlantic waters off the United States, the Smalltooth Sawfish has declined by at least 95% relative to its abundance in the early 1900s; by the 1980s, the core distribution had contracted to southwestern Florida. At the dawn of the 20th century, this species was extremely common in waters around the southeastern United States. However, in the early 1900s, nearshore net fisheries developed in this region that resulted in large sawfish losses due to accidental bycatch as sawfishes became easily entangled in nets intended for other species. In addition, loss of wetlands critical to their reproduction accelerated with the rapid development of this region. By the 1990s, the Florida populations appeared to have stabilized (at an extremely reduced level) and today the main threats to the recovery of the species appear to be habitat loss, marine pollution, and injuries inflicted directly by humans. Factors making this species more vulnerable to population reductions include their small litter size, slow growth, and late maturity (based on the limited data available, generation time has been estimated to be around 27 years and lifespan around 30 to 60 years). However, recent genetic analyses by Chapman et al. (2011) suggest that despite the dramatic population decline, a high level of genetic diversity has been retained., i.e., no genetic bottleneck has been detected despite the demographc bottleneck. (Seitz and Poulakis 2006; Chapman et al. 2011 and references therein) Immature Smalltooth Sawfish are highly dependent on shallow inshore habitats (
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Brief Summary

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The Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) has a snout that is extended as a long, flattened blade (around a quarter of the total length of the fish) with 24 or more teeth along each side. The dorsal fin originates directly over the pelvic fin insertion. The caudal (tail) fin is large and shark-like. Smalltooth Sawfish may reach 5.5 m in length. They are found in estuaries, the lower parts of large rivers, and shallow coastal waters. Historically, Smalltooth Sawfish occurred from Chesapeake Bay (rarely as far north as New York), Bermuda, and the northern Gulf of Mexico south to Brazil or northern Argentina, as well as in the eastern Atlantic. However, during the past fifty to a hundred years, they appear to have been extirpated from much of their former range and are now formally listed as endangered. (Boschung et al. 1983; Robins and Ray 1986; Poulakis et al. 2011) In the Atlantic waters off the United States, the Smalltooth Sawfish has declined by at least 95% relative to its abundance in the early 1900s; by the 1980s, the core distribution had contracted to southwestern Florida. At the dawn of the 20th century, this species was extremely common in waters around the southeastern United States. However, in the early 1900s, nearshore net fisheries developed in this region that resulted in large sawfish losses due to accidental bycatch as sawfishes became easily entangled in nets intended for other species. In addition, loss of wetlands critical to their reproduction accelerated with the rapid development of this region. By the 1990s, the Florida populations appeared to have stabilized (at an extremely reduced level) and today the main threats to the recovery of the species appear to be habitat loss, marine pollution, and injuries inflicted directly by humans. Factors making this species more vulnerable to population reductions include their small litter size, slow growth, and late maturity (based on the limited data available, generation time has been estimated to be around 27 years and lifespan around 30 to 60 years). However, recent genetic analyses by Chapman et al. (2011) suggest that despite the dramatic population decline, a high level of genetic diversity has been retained., i.e., no genetic bottleneck has been detected despite the demographc bottleneck. (Seitz and Poulakis 2006; Chapman et al. 2011 and references therein) Immature Smalltooth Sawfish are highly dependent on shallow inshore habitats (less than 2 m deep), especially around the mouths of rivers and in estuaries. Very young individuals occur on shallow sand and mud banks, often not leaving water less than 30 cm deep for extended periods (adults are known to occur in waters up to 100 m deep). Males mature at around 270 cm total length (TL), and females at around 360 cm TL. Litter size is thought to be 15 to 20, although data are limited. The young are born at 60 to 80 cm TL. (Simpfendorfer 2005) Smalltooth Sawfish are not aggressive and pose no danger to humans except when they are caught and handled. The saw can be used to obtain food by slashing it from side to side among schooling fish, stunning or killing them, then ingesting them whole. Juveniles also consume shrimp and crabs. The saws have sometimes been dried and sold as souvenirs. (Boschung et al. 1983; Robins and Ray 1986; Simpfendorfer 2005) For more information about the biology and conservation of Smalltooth Sawfishes, visit the NMFS-NOAA, IUCN, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service pages devoted to this species.
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Brief Summary

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Pristis pectinata enjoys a suite of names in languages as disparate as Sindhi, Wolof, Mandarin, Swedish and Somali (Read more: Common Names). Though it was once a common species in tropical waters around the globe, its habitat is now reduced by 90 percent.

The species is part of a group of cartilaginous fishes known as elasmobranchs, which includes sharks, skates and rays (NOAA n.d.). With its elongated body, dorsal fins and flat underbelly, the smalltooth sawfish looks like a shark when seen from above. From below, it resembles a ray with its ventral mouth, gills and flattened pectoral fins(Hill 2006). When they are born, juveniles measure about two feet (around 60 cm) in body length. By the time they reach maturity at about 10 years, they can grow to 18 ft (5.5 m) on average, and some individuals have even been found at 25 ft (7 m) in length (Simpfendorfer 2005). Their defining feature, a rostrum that resembles a saw blade, bears 24-32 teeth and constitutes a quarter of the body length.

The elongated rostrum is thought to serve several functions. There are no known directed studies of P. pectinata feeding habits, but they are thought to prey on benthic crustaceans and small schooling fish such as mullets and clupeids(Strickland 2009). When feeding, P. pectinata slash sideways through schools of fish, impaling fish on the teeth along the edges of the blade-like rostrum. The fish are then scraped off and eaten by rubbing the rostrum on a substrate and then gulping the fish whole It is thought the rostrum is also used to stir up sediments and flick out crustaceans (Hill 2006) (Strickland 2009).

The rostrum has also gotten the species in trouble. In the early 20th century, the blade-like rostra became trophies for recreational fishermen. Sawfish also got their rostra entangled in lines and nets, becoming prey to commercial fisheries (Hill 2006). In 2000 the smalltooth sawfish was listed as Critically Endangered under the IUCN (Adams, et al. 2006), and Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2003 (Strickland 2009). It is thought to be completely extinct from the Mediterranean Sea and Northeast Atlantic (Adams, et al. 2006).

There are few records of sawfish population distribution in U.S. waters, but museum specimens and anecdotal evidence from fishermen indicate it was once widespread in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico from Texas all the way to New York. Today, the range of the smalltooth sawfish has shrunk to cover only the Everglades region in the southern tip of Florida (NOAA n.d.)(Strickland 2009) (Read more: Trends and Threats).

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Diagnostic Description

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Diagnosis: Pristis pectinata is easily separable from Pristis perotteti by the following characters: its first dorsal fin originates about over the origin of its pelvic fins vs. considerably in front of origin of pelvic fins in P. perotteti; its caudal fin is much shorter, but broader relative to the length of the fin, with lower lobe only faintly indicated; its rostral teeth are numerous, 23 or more on each side vs. not more than 20 in P. perotteti; its saw is relatively somewhat shorter; its second dorsal fin has the posterior margin much less deeply concave; and its pectoral fins are smaller (Ref. 6902, 81624). Pristis pectinata agrees with Pristis pristis in the shape of its caudal fin and in the position of the first dorsal fin relative to the pelvic fins, but it can be separated from P. pristis by its more numerous rostral teeth, 23 or more on each side vs. less than 20 (Ref. 6902, 81624).Description: Long, flat, blade-like rostrum with at least 23 and up to 32 pairs of rostral spines along edges (Ref. 26938, 81624). First dorsal fin originating at same level as pelvic fin origin and base slightly longer than second dorsal fin (Ref. 81624). Caudal fin with a much larger and oblique dorsal lobe and without a clearly defined ventral lobe (Ref. 26938, 81624).Colouration: Nearly uniform dark mouse gray to blackish brown above, paler along margins of fins; white to grayish white or pale yellow below (Ref. 6902, 81624).
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Life Cycle

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Ovoviviparous, with gravid females containing about 15-20 embryos (Ref. 3163). Embryos feed solely on yolk (Ref. 50449). Gives birth in shallow bays and estuaries (Ref. 12951). Size at birth 61 cm (Ref. 12951).
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Migration

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Amphidromous. Refers to fishes that regularly migrate between freshwater and the sea (in both directions), but not for the purpose of breeding, as in anadromous and catadromous species. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.Characteristic elements in amphidromy are: reproduction in fresh water, passage to sea by newly hatched larvae, a period of feeding and growing at sea usually a few months long, return to fresh water of well-grown juveniles, a further period of feeding and growing in fresh water, followed by reproduction there (Ref. 82692).
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Threats

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Critically Endangered (CR) (A2cd)
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Biology

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Inshore and intertidal species, but may cross deep water to reach offshore islands; also ascends rivers and can tolerate fresh water (Ref. 9859). Commonly seen in bays, lagoons, estuaries, and river mouths. Also found in rivers and lakes (Ref. 12951). Feeds on fishes and shellfishes (Ref. 58784). Ovoviviparous (Ref. 50449). Gravid females reportedly carry as many as 20 embryos, which require a year of gestation (Ref. 27549). Uses its saw to stir the bottom when feeding on bottom invertebrates and to kill pelagic fishes (Ref. 9859). Utilized as a food fish; oil is used to make medicine, soap and in leather tanning (Ref. 6871). Adults stuffed for decoration (Ref. 6871). Reported to be aggressive towards sharks when kept in tanks (Ref. 12951). This species is currently protected in several areas as populations are under severe threat (Ref. 81624).
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Importance

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fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; price category: medium; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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Smalltooth sawfish

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The smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) is a species of sawfish in the family Pristidae. It is found in shallow tropical and subtropical waters in coastal and estuarine parts of the Atlantic.[1][3] Reports from elsewhere are now believed to be misidentifications of other species of sawfish.[1][4] It is a critically endangered species that has disappeared from much of its historical range.[1]

Distribution and habitat

The smalltooth sawfish is found in tropical and subtropical parts of the Atlantic, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Its original range was the smallest of the sawfish species, covering about 2,100,000 km2 (810,000 sq mi).[5] In the west it once ranged from the United States to Uruguay and in the east from Senegal to Angola.[1] Today it has disappeared from much of its historical range.[5] There are old reports from the Mediterranean Sea, but this likely involved vagrants.[5]

Smalltooth sawfish are mostly found in coastal marine and estuarine brackish waters. It prefers water less than 8 m (26 ft) deep, but adults are occasionally seen offshore at depths of up to 122 m (400 ft).[6] During periods with increased salinity, juveniles have been seen far up rivers.[6] This species is mostly found in places with soft bottoms such as mud or sand, but may also occur over hard rocky bottoms or at coral reefs.[7] They are often found in areas with mangrove or seagrass.[1] The lower water temperature limit is 16–18 °C (61–64 °F).[8]

Appearance

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Smalltooth sawfish at the Aquarium of the Americas

The smalltooth sawfish reputedly reaches a total length of up to 7.6 m (25 ft),[9] but this is likely an exaggeration and the largest confirmed size is 5.54 m (18.2 ft).[4] It weighs up to 350 kg (770 lb).[9]

Its upperparts are brownish-gray, gray, bluish-gray or blackish, and the underparts are whitish.[4][10]

Unlike the largetooth sawfish (P. pristis), the only other sawfish in the Atlantic, the smalltooth sawfish has a leading edge of the dorsal fin that is placed roughly above the leading edge of the pelvic fins (when the sawfish is seen from above or the side), relatively short pectoral fins and lack of a distinct lower lobe to the tail (lower lobe very small or absent).[4][6][10] It can be separated from the more similar dwarf sawfish (P. clavata) and green sawfish (P. zijsron) by the distribution (both are only found in the Indo-Pacific) and the dorsal fin (its leading edge is placed slightly or clearly behind the leading edge of the pelvic fins in the dwarf and green sawfish).[4] The smalltooth sawfish has a relatively narrow rostrum ("saw") with 20–32 teeth on each side.[4][10][note 1]

Function of the saw

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Pristis pectinata, X-ray image

For feeding

For many years, rarity of seeing a sawfish in the wild prevented scientists from collecting conclusive evidence about the use of their distinctive rostrum. This led them to falsely assume that the sawfish, like many other marine vertebrates with a "beak," or an elongated rostrum, follow the rule that the appendage is used to either sense prey or capture prey, but never both. There are no other highly studied marine animals with similar rostral characteristics that have shown that the rostrum is used for both of these feeding techniques. Recent studies have demonstrated, however, that the sawfish utilize their rostrum to both sense and manipulate prey.[13]

A sawfish's saw is made up of thousands of sensory organs that allow them to detect and monitor the movements of other organisms by measuring the electric fields they emit.[14] The sensory organs, also called ampullary pores, are packed most densely on the dorsal side of its beak. This allows the fish to create an image of the three-dimensional area above it, even in waters of low-visibility.[13] This provides support for the bottom-dwelling behavior of sawfish. Utilizing their saw as an extended sensing device, sawfish are able to "view" their entire surroundings by maintaining a position low to the sea floor.[15]

Sawfish uncover sand dwelling crustaceans and mollusks, two common prey types, by using their unique anatomical structure as a tool for digging and grubbing about in sand or mud.[16] The sawfish churn up the sea bottom with their exaggerated rostrum to uncover these hidden food sources.[16]

It is believed that the elongated rostrum first evolved for its use in prey immobilization.[15] Smalltooth sawfish have been observed to approach large shoals of fish while striking their saw rapidly from side to side. Due to the high density of small fish in a shoal, there is a high probability that the sawfish will hit, stab, stun, or kill several prey during one shoal attack.[17]

Vertebrate biologist Barbara Wueringer, of the University of Queensland, demonstrated that sawfish use their extended rostrum to detect and manipulate prey. She observed the animals' reaction to food already at the bottom of the tank, food falling from the water's surface, and introduced electric dipoles.[13] When the sawfish came across scraps of fish resting on the bottom of the tank, it used its rostrum to pin the "prey" down as it swam over and engulfed it. When food was identified as it fell through the water, the sawfish would approach its "prey" from the side and swiftly strike to impale the victim with the teeth of its saw.[16] Both of these cases support the respective digging and attacking behaviors expected from feeding sawfish in the wild. In order to show that sawfish use their beak to sense their surroundings, Wueringer placed electric dipoles throughout the tank to simulate the electrical signals that surround moving prey.[18] Just as the sawfish displayed different aggressive behaviors towards the "prey," they also responded differently based on the electrical signals they received by either avoiding or approaching the signal source. With this evidence, the sawfish is now regarded as the only jawed fish to use its rostrum for both prey detection and manipulation.[13]

For defense

The many teeth of a sawfish's saw are not actually teeth at all, but rather special types of scales known a dermal denticles.[19] These protruding weapons, combined with the animal's ability to strike from side to side with great force, provide it with a powerful and efficient defense mechanism.[16] Although the saw is mainly used for feeding purposes, observations of sawfish in captivity show that they may also be used for self-defense.[17] When sharks or other marine creatures threaten them, they retaliate with three swift blows to the instigator's dorsum. Sawfish are not considered harmful to humans unless they are threatened.[17]

Reproductive behavior

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A juvenile smalltooth sawfish being released

The reproductive behavior of smalltooth sawfish has not been well studied, despite their classification as a critically endangered species.[20] Nevertheless, much can be inferred based on information known about the reproductive behavior of other elasmobranchs. Observations show that smalltooth sawfish may participate in precopulatory behavior in captivity.[21] Much of this activity involves the biting of pectoral fins known as "courtship biting." [22] There is sexual dimorphism in the teeth of smalltooth sawfish, with males presenting a higher mean value for both left and right rostral tooth counts.[23] The electrosensory system is believed to be used in the courtship behavior of sawfish and other elasmobranchs.[22] Reproductively active males use the sensory organs in their saw to locate females and vice versa.[22] Once a mate has been selected, several copulations occur during which the male inserts his claspers, which are paired intromittent organs, into the female's vagina. The claspers contain subdermal siphon sacs that provide the propulsive power for sperm transfer. It is also possible that the siphon sacs assist with sawfish sperm competition by washing away rival sperm from the female's vagina before copulations.[22]

Smalltooth sawfish have recently been observed, for the first time, to reproduce parthenogenetically in the wild. About 3 percent of the sawfish living in a Florida estuary are the result of parthenogenesis. The research team speculates that since smalltooth sawfish are so rare, females might sometimes fail to find a male during the mating season, inducing the parthenogenetic process.[24]

Elasmobranchs are ovoviparous, have relatively long gestation periods, and internal fertilization.[22] The sawfish eggs hatch in the uterus and the young continue to grow without a placental connection to the mother.[20] The fetal sawfish receives nourishment from a yolk sac and absorbs all the nutrients it can from the yolk before it is born. Litters have been reported of up to 20 pups and the reproductive cycle is believed to be every two years. After sex, mating pairs separate without forming a pair bond and each continues polygamous matings.[22]

Conservation status

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Sign for the protection of smalltooth sawfish in Florida, USA
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A smalltooth sawfish briefly captured for tagging as part of a conservation project

Smalltooth sawfish are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation because of their propensity for entanglement in nets, their restricted habitat, and low rate of population growth. The species is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.[1]. The Pristis pectinata species is critically endangered mainly because of the fishing pressure business which feeds into the shark-fin industry.[25] Historically it was found in 47 countries, but it has been extirpated from 16 and possibly extirpated from another 25, leaving only 6 countries where it certainly still survives.[1][5] In terms of area this means that it certainly survives in only 19% of its historical range.[5] It is the only sawfish that certainly still survives in the United States (the largetooth sawfish, P. pristis, has likely been extirpated from this country),[5] and it has been listed by the National Marine Fisheries Service as endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 2003.[26] It is estimated that the smalltooth sawfish population in the United States now equals less than 5% of the historical population in this country.[12] In the United States it once occurred from Texas to New York (northern range as summer visitors), but today it is essentially limited to Florida.[8] In the Everglades region of Florida the population is now stable and possibly slowly rising.[6] Other countries where it certainly survives are the Bahamas, Cuba, Belize, Honduras and Sierra Leone,[1] but whether it survives in the Western Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic coast of South America is unclear.[5] The species is listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.[1]

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Atlantis Paradise Island became the world's first aquarium to breed sawfish when four pups were born there in 2012.[27]

Small numbers are maintained in public aquariums in North America with studbooks listing 12 individuals (5 males, 7 females) in 2014.[28] The only kept elsewhere are at a public aquarium in Colombia.[29] It is the only species of sawfish that has been bred in captivity.[28]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Sawfish occasionally lose teeth during their life and these are not replaced.[11] Correct tooth count refers to actual teeth and alveoli ("tooth sockets") from lost teeth.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Carlson, J.; Wiley, T. & Smith, K. (2013). "Pristis pectinata". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T18175A43398238. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T18175A43398238.en.
  2. ^ https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp0/profile/speciesProfile?sId=3253
  3. ^ Poulakis, Gregg R.; Stevens, Philip W.; Timmers, Amy A.; Stafford, Christopher J.; Chapman, Demian D.; Feldheim, Kevin A.; Heupel, Michelle R.; Curtis, Caitlin (2016). "Long-term site fidelity of endangered small-tooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) from different mothers" (PDF). Fishery Bulletin. 114 (4): 461–475. doi:10.7755/fb.114.4.8.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Last; White; de Carvalho; Séret; Stehmann & Naylor (2016). Rays of the World. CSIRO. pp. 59–66. ISBN 9780643109148.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Dulvy; Davidson; Kyne; Simpfendorfer; Harrison; Carlson & Fordham (2014). "Ghosts of the coast: global extinction risk and conservation of sawfishes" (PDF). Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 26 (1): 134–153. doi:10.1002/aqc.2525.
  6. ^ a b c d Whitty, J.; N. Phillips & R. Scharfer. "Pristis pectinata (Latham, 1794)". Sawfish Conservation Society. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ Seitz, J.C. & G.R. Poulakis (2002). "Recent occurrence of the smalltooth sawfish, Pristis pectinata (Elasmobranchiomorphi: Pristidae), in Florida Bay and the Florida Keys, with comments on sawfish ecology". Florida Scientist. 65 (4): 256–266. JSTOR 24321140.
  8. ^ a b "Sawfish Myths". University of Florida. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Pristis pectinata" in FishBase. April 2006 version.
  10. ^ a b c Kells, V. & K. Carpenter (2015). A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes from Texas to Maine. Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-8018-9838-9.
  11. ^ Slaughter, Bob H.; Springer, Stewart (1968). "Replacement of Rostral Teeth in Sawfishes and Sawsharks". Copeia. 1968 (3): 499–506. doi:10.2307/1442018. JSTOR 1442018.
  12. ^ a b Wueringer, B.E.; L. Squire Jr. & S.P. Collin (2009). "The biology of extinct and extant sawfish (Batoidea: Sclerorhynchidae and Pristidae)". Rev Fish Biol Fisheries. 19 (4): 445–464. doi:10.1007/s11160-009-9112-7.
  13. ^ a b c d Crew, Becky (2013-04-18). Zombie birds, astronaut fish, and other weird animals. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media. ISBN 9781440560262.
  14. ^ Wueringer, B.E.; Peverell, S.C.; Seymour, J.; Squire Jr., L.; Kajiura, S.M.; Collin, S.P. (1 January 2011). "Sensory Systems in Sawfishes. 1. The Ampullae of Lorenzini". Brain, Behavior and Evolution. 78 (2): 139–149. doi:10.1159/000329515. PMID 21829004.
  15. ^ a b Barbara E. Wueringer; Lyle Squire Jr.; Shaun P. Collin (2009). "The biology of extinct and extant sawfish (Batoidea: Sclerorhynchidae and Pristidae)". Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. 19 (4): 445–464. doi:10.1007/s11160-009-9112-7.
  16. ^ a b c d Breder, C. M. (1952). "On the utility of the saw of the sawfish". Copeia. 1952 (2): 90–91. doi:10.2307/1438539. JSTOR 1438539.
  17. ^ a b c Scott, Micheal (2005). Reef Sharks & Rays of the World. Prostar Pubns. ISBN 978-1577855385.
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Smalltooth sawfish: Brief Summary

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The smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) is a species of sawfish in the family Pristidae. It is found in shallow tropical and subtropical waters in coastal and estuarine parts of the Atlantic. Reports from elsewhere are now believed to be misidentifications of other species of sawfish. It is a critically endangered species that has disappeared from much of its historical range.

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Description

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Inhabits mainly inshore coastal waters, also around offlying islands. Commonly seen in estuaries, lagoons, river mouths and even freshwater. Adapted to water temperatures of 16° to 30°C. Uses its saw to stir the bottom when feeding on bottom invertebrates and to kill pelagic fishes (Ref. 9859). Ovoviviparous, with gravid females containing about 15-20 embryos. Saws serving as trophies or taken by tourists as souvenirs. Young are utilized as food in the Western Atlantic (Ref. 9859).
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Froese, R. & D. Pauly (Editors). (2019). FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. version (02/2019). North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
Contributor
Edward Vanden Berghe [email]

Distribution

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N.C. (rarely N.Y.), Bermuda, and n. Gulf of Mexico to Brazil
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Froese, R. & D. Pauly (Editors). (2019). FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. version (02/2019). North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
Contributor
Mary Kennedy [email]

Habitat

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benthic
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bibliographic citation
Froese, R. & D. Pauly (Editors). (2019). FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. version (02/2019). North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS) North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
Contributor
Mary Kennedy [email]