Resembling miniature sawfishes, sawsharks are a small group of bottom sharks
with five species in a single family. The sawshark snout may be used to disable
prey. All species hatch young from eggs within the body.
Appearance: Sawsharks have long, flat, bladelike snouts, edged with slender,
needle-sharp teeth and a pair of long barbels in front of the nostrils. They
have two dorsal fins and no anal fin, short transverse mouths and small teeth
in both jaws.
Size: Less than six feet long.
Habitat: Moderate depths on continental shelves and upper slopes, on mud, sand,
and gravel bottoms. The Bahamas sawshark ranges down to a depth of 3,000 ft.
Distribution: Different species occur in the western Pacific, the western North
Atlantic, the southeastern Atlantic, and the western Indian oceans.
Diet: Small fishes, crustaceans, and squid.
Shark bite: Sawsharks show segregation by depth within populations, with adults
in deeper water than young.