Longnose Sawshark

The longnose, or common, sawshark is a species of sawshark found in Australia.

Longnose Sawshark Scientific Classification

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Chondrichthyes
Order Pristiophoriformes
Family Pristiophoridae
Genus Pristiophorus
Scientific Name P. cirratus

Description

This shark reaches a maximum length of 4 ft 6 inches. It has a flat thin body, with a long rostrum that makes up around 30% of the body length of particular specimens. These sharks have barbels lower down the rostrum compared to the nostrils.

Longnose sharks are pale yellow or grey dorsally, with faint dark scars, spots, and bars, while the ventral side is whiter.

Where do they live

These sharks live in the eastern part of the Indian Ocean off the coasts of the southern part of Australia, including Southern Australia and Tasmania.

The sharks live at depths of 121–479 ft in sandy and gravelly areas but also in bays and estuaries.

Behavior

Hunting

Their diet consists of small crustaceans, hunted by dragging their barbels on the ocean floor. They will disturb the sediment and mud with the teeth on their rostrum to attack potential prey.

Reproductive

These sharks give live birth to a litter of 6-19 pups every winter after gestating for a year. While in the womb, the teeth of unborn sharks are folded into the snout so that the mother isn’t harmed.

Initially, after birth, the juveniles are 11–15 inches long. They reach maturity very quickly and live up to 15 years.

Adaptations

The teeth on the rostrum help them both hunt prey and deter predators.

Interactions with humans

The meat of these sharks is popular in Australia due to its fantastic taste. Certain parts of their range are protected to offset the risk of overfishing this shark to keep the population stable. As a result, the IUCN classifies this shark as “Least Concern” or “LC”.

Sources

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