Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Common sawfish

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Kingdom  Animalia
Subclass  Elasmobranchii
Family  Pristidae
Scientific name  Pristis pristis
Rank  Species
Phylum  Chordata
Order  Pristiformes
Genus  Pristis
Higher classification  Pristis
Common sawfish httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Similar  Sawfish, Largetooth sawfish, Large‑tooth sawfish, Smalltooth sawfish, Longcomb sawfish

The common sawfish (Pristis pristis) is a species of sawfish, family Pristidae. It is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical coastal regions, but also enters freshwater. It has declined drastically and is considered critically endangered.

Contents

Taxonomy

Its taxonomy in relations to P. microdon and P. perotteti has caused considerable confusion, but recent evidence strongly suggests the three are conspecific (in which case P. microdon and P. perotteti are synonyms of P. pristis), as morphological and genetic differences are lacking. Three main clades based on NADH-2 genes were evident (Atlantic, Indo-West Pacific, and East Pacific), but these do not match the distributions claimed for P. pristis (circumtropical), P. microdon (Indo-West Pacific) and P. perotteti (Atlantic and East Pacific) respectively.

Description

Its maximum length is 7.5 metres (25 ft), though 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) is more common. Reproduction is ovoviviparous.

Distribution and status

This species can be found worldwide in tropical and subtropical coastal regions, but it also enters freshwater and has been recorded in rivers as far as 1,340 km (830 mi) from the sea. Juveniles stay in freshwater for the first years of their life, while adults mainly are found in estuaries and coastal waters. Specimens from the population in Lake Nicaragua appear to spend most, if not all, of their life in freshwater.

As suggested by its name, it was once plentiful, but has now declined drastically leading to it being considered a critically endangered species by the IUCN. It has been extirpated from many regions where formerly present. The main threat is overfishing, but it also suffers from habitat loss. Sawfish are protected in some parts of the world, and it is listed by the Endangered Species Act and CITES Appendix I, but illegal fishing continues and enforcement of fishing laws are often lacking.

References

Common sawfish Wikipedia


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