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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Indo-West Pacific, Australia and Papua New Guinea, eastern coast of Africa north to the Red Sea, as well as China and south to New South Wales.
  • Mainly bottom dwelling, found in shallow bays, lagoons and estuaries. Has been found at depths up to 131 feet (40 m), but 1 to 16 feet (1 to 5 m) seems to be most common.

Physical Characteristics

  • Displays countershading; dark olive or grey on dorsal side and pale yellow or white underneath.
  • Heavy, shark like body; very flat on ventral side.
  • Long, narrow rostrum is common to all sawfish. In this species, the “saw” is the longest of all, reaching a maximum length of 5.4 feet (164.5 cm).
  • Typically 25-34 rostal teeth (actually modified dermal dentricles) on either side of the saw.
  • Common length of 18 feet (550 cm), with a maximum length of 23.9 feet (730 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists primarily of slow schooling fishes, such as mullet.
  • Stuns prey by quick swipes of the saw. 
  • Shellfish and crustaceans are also consumed; sawfish will use its saw to sweep these animals out of the sand.

Reproduction / Growth

  • It has been suggested (Grant, 1978) that adult males will use their saws in dominance and mating battles.

Conservation Status

  • “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Also known as the “green” sawfish and the “narrowsnout” sawfish.
  • Vulnerable to nets; both fishing and shark control nets surrounding beaches.
  • Predators include tiger and bull sharks, as well as freshwater crocodiles.