Largetooth Sawfish


Scientific name

Pristis pristis




Up to 7 m (33 feet)


At least 36 years

Did you know?

Sawfish use their ‘saw’ – the rostrum extending from their snout, lined with external teeth – to slash through schools of fish, stunning their prey to make them easier to catch and eat.

About Largetooth Sawfishs

Primarily occupying shallow waters, the largetooth sawfish is tolerant of fresh and salt water in tropical regions. The most well-studied population was in Lake Nicaragua, Central America, though an intense commercial fishery in the early 1970’s caused a steep decline in the population. In the western Atlantic Ocean, largetooth sawfish historically made fairly long migrations in marine waters during the warmer months, but today they are mostly restricted to freshwater and estuarine habitats in Central America. The eastern Pacific population is also likely restricted to Central America. Female largetooth sawfish mature at around 9 years of age and give birth to up to 20 pups, with a mean of 7 per litter. 


Largetooth sawfish mostly eat fishes, but also consume invertebrates such as shrimps and crabs.


The largetooth sawfish is the most wide-ranging of the five sawfish species, and occurs in the Western Atlantic, Eastern Pacific, Eastern Atlantic, and the Indo-West Pacific Oceans.

Fun facts

  • The saws of largetooth sawfish are broader than most other species, and can be identified by counting the rostral teeth: largetooth sawfish have 14-24 teeth, while smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) have 20-30.

Largetooth Sawfish photo gallery

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