knifetooth sawfish, pointed sawfish, narrow sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata)
English: Dorsal view of knifetooth sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata) from Karachi, Pakistan (dorsal view).
Date 14 May 2014
Author Hamid Badar Osmany
The knifetooth sawfish (Anoxypristis cuspidata), also known as the pointed sawfish or narrow sawfish, is a species of sawfish in the family Pristidae, part of the Batoidea, a superorder of cartilaginous fish that includes the rays and skates. The sawfishes are characterised by the long, narrow, flattened rostrum or extension on their snout. This is lined with sharp transverse teeth, arranged in a way that resembles the teeth of a saw. It is found in the shallow coastal waters and estuaries of the Indo-West Pacific, ranging from the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf to southern Japan, Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. It is the only member of the genus Anoxypristis, but was previously included in the genus Pristis. Compared to that genus, Anoxypristis has a narrower rostral saw with numerous teeth on the distal part and no teeth on the basal quarter. This endangered species reaches a length of up to 4.7 metres. Order: Pristiformes, Family: Pristidae, Species: Anoxypristis cuspidata (Latham, 1794), Synonyms: Pristis cuspidatus.