Saw fine teeth reborn?  Scientists in Florida are full of hope

This fish, like other sawfishes, is viviparous. The young grow up and hunt under the protection of mangrove forests. However, they are constantly being destroyed by humans, with the result that the species loses places where it can breed. Combined with poaching and trophy hunting, this has become the biggest problem for the species, whose population has declined by 90% over the 20th century. Many experts doubt that this species is able to revive until now.

The female was captured during an expedition to study the population of baby sharks in the Gulf of Mexico. When it turned out that a fine-toothed saw had been caught, scientists and students were amazed. No one expected a representative of such a rare species and even the Far North. The crew had to return to land with the fish tied to the side to take the tag, which was not necessary if the shark was caught. It was applied to the body of the animal, thanks to which it could be tracked for 10 years.

Scientists have noticed scars on the body of the fish after the mating ritual. Little is known about sawfish reproduction, but closely related sharks and rays engage in copulations in which males bite on the fins of females. Mating marks are a good sign. The more fine-toothed saws have a very long breeding cycle. From 7 to 14 young are born who do not reach puberty for many years. This is one of the reasons why one doubts the revival of species after their decimation by humans. “To me, it’s a positive sign that we’ve placed them in a historical habitat where they were exterminated. As if they had a deep, innate knowledge of where they should return,” says Naylor.

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