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Family Pristidae The Sawfish Greek pristis = saw Sara McCutcheon.

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Presentation on theme: "Family Pristidae The Sawfish Greek pristis = saw Sara McCutcheon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Family Pristidae The Sawfish Greek pristis = saw Sara McCutcheon

2 General Characteristics Large toothed rostrum Body shark- like 2 distinct dorsal fins and caudal fin Pectoral fins distinct Depressed head

3 Sawfish vs Sawshark Eye

4 Sawfish vs Sawshark Rostrum teeth

5 Sawfish vs Sawshark Gill Position

6 Sawfish Taxonomy 7 species in 2 Genera Pristis pristis – Common sawfish Pristis perotteti – Largetooth sawfish Pristis microdon – Freshwater sawfish Pristis pectinata – Smalltooth sawfish* Pristis clavata – Dwarf sawfish Pristis zijsron – Green sawfish Anoxypristis cuspidata – Knifetooth sawfish

7 Taxonomy 7 species in 2 Genera Anoxypristis cuspidata (1 sp.) Pristis pristis complex (3 spp.) Pristis pectinata complex (3 spp.)

8 3 Types of Sawfish Pristis pectinata complex Non-tapering rostrum Smaller teeth 22-32 teeth per side Pristis pristis complex Broad tapering rostrum Larger teeth 15-20 teeth per side Anoxypristis cuspidata Very narrow saw No teeth on the closest quarter of rostrum to head 16-29 teeth per side More flattened and triangular teeth

9 Habitat Benthic Freshwater, brackish, and marine Nearshore waters Bays, lagoons, rivers, lakes, estuaries, seagrass, and reefs Sandy and muddy substrate

10 Distribution Nearshore waters Tropical, subtropical and warm temperate Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific

11 Biology Conicospiral intestines and long pyloric stomachs 3 reported instances of intestinal eversion (first non-carcharhinid) Juveniles prefer a depth of 10m or less; adults deeper water Some species use freshwater nurseries for ~4-5 years Immature up to 280cm Max size 760 cm TL – P. pectinata (350kg) Max recorded weight 600kg – P. microdon Max age 30 years

12 Reproductive Biology Sexual maturity is reached at 10-11 feet for males and 11-12 feet for females Ovoviviparous Gestation of ~ 5 months Litter every other year 6-23 pups Pupping occurs in spring (wet season) Born at 2 feet long Born backwards, saw encased in a sheath of tissue, and teeth do not fully erupt until after birth

13 Diet The saw is used to catch, kill, and manipulate food Swipe the saw, stunning or impaling fish Small sawfish – crustaceans and fish Large sawfish – fish (jacks, mullet, ladyfish)

14 Threats Fishing and Habitat Loss and degradation

15 Fisheries In the late 1800s a fisherman on the Indian River in Florida reported that he caught more than 300 sawfish in one season

16 Fisheries Recreational fisheries for saw trophy Commercial fisheries bycatch, saw entanglement

17 Fisheries Chinese medicine – eggs, liver, oil, bile Food Shark fin soup Decoration Leather Curio trade Saw for spiritual offerings

18 Habitat Loss and Degradation Extensive coastal development Dredging Mangrove removal Seawall construction Alteration of freshwater flow Habitat fragmentation

19 Status All 7 sawfish species are critically endangered P. pectinata – apparently extinct in the Mediterranean and NE Atlantic P. perotteti – extirpated from most of its range in Atlantic P. pristis – was once common in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, but has now been extirpated from Europe and the Mediterranean –Likely to become extinct

20 Conservation Efforts Federally (ESA) and internationally (IUCN) protected Research Public education and outreach Public sightings database Captain’s logbooks

21 Bibliography Adams, W.F., Fowler, S.L., Charvet-Almeida, P., Faria, V., Soto, J. & Furtado, M. 2006. Pristis pectinata. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 05 November Carrier, J.C., Musick, J.A., and Heithaus, M.R.. 2004. Biology of Sharks and their Relatives. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. pp 142, 416, 427. Charvet-Almeida, P., Faria, V., Furtado, M., Cook, S.F., Compagno L.J.V. & Oetinger, M.I. 2007. Pristis perotteti. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 05 November Compagno, L.J.V., Cook, S.F., Oetinger, M.I. & Fowler, S.L. 2006. Anoxypristis cuspidata. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 05 November Cook, S.F., Compagno, L.J.V. & Last, P.R. 2006. Pristis clavata. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 05 November Deynat, PP. 2005. New data on the systematics and interrelationships of sawfishes (Elasmobranchii, Batoidea, Pristiformes). Journal of Fish Biology 66 (5):1447-1458. Florida Museum of Natural History – Icthyology. Viewed on 11/06/07. Henningsen, AD, Whitaker, BR, and Walker, ID. 2005. Protrusion of the valvular intestine in captive smalltooth sawfish and comments on pristid gastrointestinal anatomy and intestinal valve types. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 17 (3): 289-295.Henningsen, ADWhitaker, BRWalker, ID Mote Marine Laboratories. Viewed on 11/06/ Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World, 4th ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc, NJ. pp 69, 73. Peverell, SC. 2005. Distribution of sawfishes (Pristidae) in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, with notes on sawfish ecology. Environmental Biology of Fishes 73 (4): 391-402.Peverell, SC Robillard M. and Seret, B. 2006. Cultural importance and decline of sawfish (Pristidae) populations in West Africa. Cybium 30 (4): 23-30.Robillard MSeret, B Thorburn, DC, Morgan, DL, Rowland, AJ, and Gill, HS. 2007. Freshwater sawfish Pristis microdon Latham, 1794 (Chondrichthyes : Pristidae) in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Zootaxa 1471: 27-41.Thorburn, DCMorgan, DLRowland, AJGill, HS

22 Questions?

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