(CRITICALLY ENDANGERED)Knifetooth sawfish

The knifetooth sawfish or pointed sawfish, Anoxypristis cuspidata, is a sawfish of the family Pristidae, the only member of the genus Anoxypristis, found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific oceans in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, Papua New Guinea, and southern Japan to northern Australia. Its length is up to 4.7 m.

The knifetooth sawfish is greyish above, pale below, with pale fins. The head is flattened, with a blade-like snout bearing 18 to 22 pairs of lateral teeth. The nostrils are very narrow with small nasal flaps. The rostral teeth are short, flattened, broadly triangular, and lacking a groove along the posterior margins. Adults have widely spaced denticles, but the young have naked skin.

They are found inshore, often in river deltas and estuaries and are common in sheltered bays with sandy bottoms. They feed on small fish and cuttlefish. Although it is generally harmless its saw-like snout may cause serious injury when caught – it is known to thrash violently and vigorously. It is caught for its flesh and liver (which is rich in oil) in some parts of Asia.

Reproduction is ovoviviparous.

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