Family: PRISTIOPHORIDAE, Shark-saw, Sawsharks, Saw Shark
snout v long, flat = slender saw
5 gill slits, on side
Head greatly depressed and somewhat expanded laterally; snout very long, greatly flattened, laterally expanded, with 17-43 large, close–set lateral and ventral saw-teeth (enlarged skin denticles) and a pair of long string–like rostral barbels on the ventral surface before nostrils; eyes dorsolateral on head; spiracles large, just behind at level of eyes; 5-6 paired gill openings on sides of head, all before pectoral–fin origins; mouth small, broadly arched and short, extending slightly behind eyes; teeth weakly differentiated along the jaws, without ridges or notches; trunk cylindrical, not flattened and ray–like; tail base with long thick lateral dermal ridges; skin denticles cover entire body; pectoral fins moderately large; pelvic fins small; 2 spineless dorsal fins, origin of first over abdomen, well before pelvic–fin bases; anal fin absent; tail fin with a long dorsal lobe and no ventral lobe.
Two genera; 9 species; all three oceans; 1 endemic to Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER FAO