The Longnose Sawshark is an ocean species with a highly distinctive appearance. Fortunately, they pose no threat to humans. In fact, it is the other way around – human activities are a threat to their existence, like a great many other creatures.
Unlike most other sharks, they often form small schools, most likely for the purpose of communal hunting.
Also, the Longnose Sawshark is commercially fished within its habitat range. Fortunately, and surprisingly, it is under protection in most parts of its endemic territory. Combined with its extreme rate of reproduction, this has served to maintain their numbers at acceptable levels. For this reason, the IUCN has listed them as a Species of Least Concern.
Longnose Sawshark Physical Description
The distinctively formed Longnose Sawshark is a relatively small species of shark and attains a maximum known length of only 4.5 ft (1.4 m). Actually, an average size is perhaps 80% of this length.
The body is relatively stocky in proportion, especially relative to others of its kind. The long and extraordinarily formed rostrum comprises about a third of their body length.
There are also barbels attached to the saws which are principally a pale yellow to grayish brown in color on the dorsal portion. The ventral portion is generally a darkish white. Often, faint dark patches are present on the creature’s back. The rostrum, popular as the saw, is covered in specialized cells that enable them to detect the electric field of their prey.
Longnose Sawshark Distribution and Ecology
They spend the majority of their time at depths ranging from between 130-1,020 ft (40-310 m). On occasion, they will venture into estuaries and bays. However, they prefer to inhabit areas of gravel or sandy ocean bottom, within 480 ft (146 m) of the shoreline.
They are highly active predators and their principal prey consists of small fish and crustaceans.
This fish is ovoviviparous in nature. Mating occurs every other year and as many as 19 young may be birthed at a single time. There’s that prodigious reproductive rate we mentioned above.
Average lifespan, however, is only about 15 years.