Facts: The Sawfish (Carpenter Shark)

Facts: The Sawfish (Carpenter Shark)


Sawfish or carpenter sharks are modified rays with a shark-like body. They belong to a group of cartilaginous fish called elasmobranchs that includes sharks, skates, and rays. Amazingly, they have evolved a long, saw-like snout edged with sharp teeth. This snout is called a rostrum and it can be used in a back and forth swiping motion to stun and kill prey or dig through sediment. Sawfish wil hunt down fish and crustaceans. Their snout possesses small pores that can detect the electrical fields produced by prey. They usually live 25 to 80 years, depending on the species and reach sexual maturity by age 10. Length can range from 5 to 25 feet (1.5 to 7m) These fish prefer shallow coastal waters of less than 32 ft (10m) deep and normally stay near the seafloor, rarely venturing to the surface. They have been frequently observed to swim into freshwater river systems. They are widely distributed across tropical and warm temperate near shore waters in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Females are ovoviviparous meaning they will carry their eggs and give live birth to juvenile sawfish. Juveniles prefer to inhabit mangrove forests. Many species of sawfish are listed as endangered. This could be due to the loss of juvenile fish habitat and excessive bycatch. Their snout often gets unintentionally tangled in fishing gear. Sometimes they are caught so their snout can be dried and served for ornamental purposes. And in some countries their fins are eaten as a delicacy. Better fishing regulations and protection of critical habitat is being implemented to initiate species recovery. Early sawfish first evolved around 100 million years ago. For more marine facts, click the subscribe button!!

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