Friday, 17 April 2015

Hope for world's zaniest fish

The smalltooth sawfish is at risk of extinction but new insights into its habitat could now ensure its survival

Presented by
Melissa Hogenboom

Is it a shark, is it a chainsaw? It seems to be a bit of both. 

Meet the smalltooth sawfish. Though closely related to sharks, this group of sea-dwellers actually belongs to the ray family. This fish really looks like a shark with a chainsaw on its head. 

And they are huge, sawfish can grow up to 25ft and used to be abundant in the American oceans.

Their saws are impressive weapons which they use for hunting as well as well as some apparent infighting. Many have numerous wounds on their bodies, a sign that they also attack each other with their saws, for reasons which are not quite understood.

Unfortunately, this intriguing species is extremely rare. They are critically endangered but scientists have gained new insights into their habitat, which could now help them survive.

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