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A Smalltooth Sawfish's Diet

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The smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) is an endangered species of fish living in the warm ocean waters surrounding Florida, Mexico, the islands of the Caribbean and Central America. These fish are mainly found in estuaries, river mouths and coastal waters. Smalltooth sawfish have a unique, flat snout known as a rostrum, which they use to hunt for prey.

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Smalltooth sawfish have up to 29 teeth on each side of their rostrum. They use their unique snouts to search for and incapacitate fish, such as mullets and clupeids, as well as for crustaceans like lobsters, crabs and shrimp.

Feeding Habits

In addition to using their rostrum to dig around the ocean floor in search of prey, smalltooth sawfish use their distinctive snouts to kill fish in schools by swinging it from side to side. This impales the prey on their teeth, which the sawfish then scrape off and consume. Smalltooth smallfish also hunt by sitting motionless on the ocean floor and surprising prey when they sense something is nearby.