Longnose Sawshark Facts
- The Longnose Sawshark is an ocean species with a highly distinctive appearance. Fortunately, it poses no threat to humans. In fact, it is the other way around. Human activities are a threat to its 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 its numbers at acceptable levels. For this reason, the IUCN has listed it as a Species of Least Concern.
Longnose Sawshark Physical Description
The rather 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). In fact, the average size is perhaps 80% of this length.
The body grows quite stocky in proportion, especially relative to others of its kind. The long and extraordinarily formed rostrum comprises about a third of its 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. Also, faint dark patches are often present on the creature’s back.
The rostrum, popular as the saw, is covered in specialized cells that enable it to detect the electric field of its prey.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Chondrichthyes
- Order: Pristiophoriformes
- Family: Pristiophoridae
- Genus: Pristiophorus
- Species: P. cirratus
Longnose Sawshark Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Longnose Sawshark is native to a restricted portion of the Indian Ocean. Individuals may also be present near Tasmania and southern Australia. Primarily, this species inhabits the local continental shelf region.
Individuals spend the majority of their time at depths ranging from between 130-1,020 ft (40-310 m). On occasion, however, some will venture into estuaries and bays. However, most prefer to inhabit areas of gravel or sandy ocean bottom, within 480 ft (146 m) of the shoreline.
This fascinating creature is a highly active predator and its principal prey consists of small fish and crustaceans.
This fish is also 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.
Finally, its average lifespan, however, is only about 15 years.