Thursday, September 27, 2012


Life of Sea | Sawfish | Sawfish, also known as the Carpenter Shark, are a family of rays, characterized by a long, toothy nose extension snout. Different species can grow to about 7 meters. Sawfish are found in tropical and sub-tropical areas in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. They inhabit coastal areas such as bays and estuaries, but often penetrate far into rivers and large lakes such as Lake Nicaragua. All sawfish have the ability to cross between freshwater and saltwater. They are slow and docile, preferring to rest over muddy bottoms in shallow water around estuaries and freshwater systems. The water in which they live is very muddy, so they can not see well, so answer their sensitive snout for information. 

The sawfish's most distinctive feature is the saw-like rostrum. The rostrum is covered with sensitive pores which make it possible to promote the movement of the prey sawfish shelter to be detected under the ocean floor. The rostrum serves as a digging tool to unearth buried crustaceans. When a suitable prey swims through the normal lethargic sawfish comes from the bottom, and with its oblique lines on the saw. This generally stuns or injures the prey sufficiently for the sawfish to devour. Sawfish also defend themselves with their rostrum, against invading divers and predators such as sharks. The body and the head of a sawfish are flat, and they spend most of their time lying on the seabed. Like rays, sawfish mouth and nostrils are on the flat bottom. The mouth is lined with small, dome-shaped teeth for eating small fish and crustaceans, sometimes the fish swallows them whole. The eyes of the sawfish its undeveloped due to their muddy environment. The rostrum is the main sensory device. 

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Chondrichthyes
Subclass:     Elasmobranchii
Superorder:     Batoidea
Order:     Pristiformes
Family:     Pristidae
Bonaparte, 1838

They use the long flat toothy snout in four ways, the snout houses electroreceptors which senses the heartbeats of buried prey such as shrimp, crabs and other invertebrates. The muzzle is also motion-sensitive, so they can follow and slash at swimming fish in the murky water. With buried prey, the muzzle is a rake, with fish, a cutting tool to disable fast-moving prey. Sawfish are nocturnal, usually sleeping during the day, hunt at night. Despite fearsome appearances, they do not attack humans unless provoked or surprised. The small tooth sawfish is known to fishermen as a lottery program fish as a result of the conflict brings once addicted. Capturing sawfish is illegal in the United States and Australia. 

All species of sawfish are considered critically endangered. They are accidentally caught as bycatch in fishing nets and are hunted for their rostrum (which is valued as a curiosity by some), their fins (which are eaten as a delicacy), and their liver oil for use in folk medicine. While fins from many shark species are used in the trade, some shark species are identified through the centuries as supplying the tastiest and most succulent fins. The shark-like rays (the Sawfishes and shovel nose rays) deliver the highest quality fin.Sawfish are a powerful symbol in many cultures. The Aztecs revered sawfish as an "earth monster". The rostrum is used by some Asian shamans for exorcisms and other ceremonies to demons and disease, which has contributed to the decline repel.

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