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The Common Sawshark is also known as Longnose
- COMMON SAWSHARK
Scientific Name.... Pristiophorus Cirratus
Family Name...... Pristiophoridae
- General Information: The common sawshark is
also known as the longnose sawshark. Like all the sawshark family,
it is immediately recognizable from its saw-like snout with a
pair of barbels. Because of its snout, it can sometimes be confused
with sawfishes. However the sawshark's five pairs of gills are
on the side of its head, while the sawfish's gills are underneath.
Also, the sawfish does not have a pair of barbels. The common
sawshark is a slender shark with a slightly depressed and flattened
- Size: They can reach a maximum length of 4.4
feet. Although females can reach up to 5 feet.
- Teeth: All sawsharks have a long, tapering
rostrum with teeth on each side. Their teeth vary in size, with
smaller teeth in between the larger teeth. If undamaged the rostrum
has 19 to 21 enlarged teeth on each side of the "saw".
- Color: The common sawshark has an attractive
pattern of darker bands and brownish spots and blotches on a pale
yellowish brown background.
- Feeding Habits: They feed on small bony fishes
and crustaceans. They feed by trailing their barbels along the
bottom to locate their prey. The teeth on the snout are probably
then used for stirring up sediment to rouse the prey and strike
- Social Behaviour: The common sawshark will aggregate
or school. It is also found singly.
- Habitat | Migration | Distribution: Common
sawsharks are found southern Australia, from southern New South
Wales, to mid-Western Australia. These sharks are found only in
temperate waters and seems to prefer deeper water, on continental
shelves and slopes to depths of about 1,012 feet. They may be
found lying on the sea floor, usually on sand or mixed gravel-sand
- Life Span: The common sawshark lives for more
than 15 years.
- Reproduction: This ovoviviparous, females appear
to breed every one to two years. They produce 3-22 young and with
10 being the average. Gestation period is about 12 months and
the pups are born in shallow coastal areas. The pups are about
11-14 inches long at birth. The rostal teeth are pliable and bent
rearward at birth to prevent damage to the delivering female.
- Common Sawshark: Harmless, unless provoked.
- Population Report: Common.
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