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Species: Pristis pristis, Largetooth Sawfish

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saw 17-20 rows teeth
D1 origin well before pelvic origin
C with lower lobe

Pristis pristis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Largetooth Sawfish

Body depressed at front, shark-like; head, pectorals and front of body in a large diamond shaped disc, ending in an elongate, flattened snout equipped with a row of 17-20 large, flattened teeth along each side; eyes and spiracles on top of head; mouth wide, underneath; gills under head; 2 large, shark-like, widely separated dorsal fins, origin of first dorsal fin well before pelvic fin origin; pectorals triangular, attached to rear of head; no anal fin; tail large, stout, fin broad, with a small lower lobe; body covered with flat denticles.

Dark grey to golden brown, whitish on ventral surface; specimens in freshwater are pale grey.

Grows to about 656 cm and estimated weight of 590 kg.

Inhabits shallow bays and estuaries, also entering rivers.

Depth: 1-26 m.

Probably only found in the east and west Atlantic; the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Beach
  • Estuary
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Live birth
  • No pelagic larva
  • No pelagic phase
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continental primarily
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Critically endangered
  • Listed
  • Appendix I
  • Listed
Length Max
  • 656
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 26