Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata Latham) 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation
The 2010 status review for smalltooth sawfish conducted to ensure the lisitng classification of the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act is accurate.
The United States distinct population segment of smalltooth sawfish is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Smalltooth sawfish are one of five species of sawfish. Like sharks and rays, sawfish are elasmobranchs whose skeletons are made of cartilage instead of bone. Sawfish are most closely related to rays as their gill slits are found on the ventral (bottom) side of their bodies. The sawfish gets its name from the long flattened, toothed rostrum (snout) that looks much like an actual saw. The rostrum is used for both feeding and defense. Sawfish use nearshore coastal habitats which greatly overlap with human activity. This overlap is likely a key to the decline of all sawfish species worldwide.