Sawfish are elongated rays with a long "blade" projecting from their nose. The blade is shaped roughly like a chainsaw blade, and like a chainsaw, has numerous teeth projecting from the sides. Slashes of the saw blade are used to slice up prey items for dinner. The underside of the saw blade is coated with the sawfish's electroreceptive organs, sweeping the saw blade back and forth like a metal detector allows it to pick up the faint bioelectric signals of prey buried in the sediment. Buried food can be dug up with the saw, then slashed. Swimming at top speed through schools of fish, it can slash from side to side to dice up anything unfortunate enough to be in the way.
Sawfish will defend themselves if provoked or stepped on. Their sawblades can cause nasty wounds. Hooked sawfish have been known to knock holes in the sides of fishing boats with their saws.
The green sawfish Pristis zijsron grows to enormous sizes, and becomes one of the largest fishes in the ocean. It inhabits the western Pacific and Indian oceans. Other species of sawfish are distributed around the warm coastal waters, estuaries, lagoons, and inlets of the world, one species (Pristis microdon, the freshwater sawfish) inhabits freshwater areas in Australia and New Guinea, other sawfish will spend time up rivers before returning to the ocean. Typical sawfish size is 50 to 100 kg, most species max out at about 300 to 600 kg.
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