Did you know that there are (beside the well-known but highly endangered sawfishes, which are a ray species) also sawsharks? Despite being closely related, they are easily to distinguish: sawsharks are smaller, have got a pair of barbels and alternately large and small saw teeth on their blade-like snout and not the typical ray face on the underside (their gill slits are positioned on the side).

Sawsharks are poorly known deepwater species (one has been discovered as recently as 2011). They live at the bottom and use their sensible barbels and their electric sense (via ampullae of Lorenzini) on the saw to detect prey in mud or sand. They are ovoviviparous, the pubs seems to be considerate of their mother and are born with the long saw teeth folded back. Later, their saw teeth are replaced regularly. They make sawsharks particularly susceptible to capture in gillnets.

The Japanese sawshark is to be found in the western North Pacific off Korea, Japan and Taiwan. It is fished commercially and highly valued for making a traditional Japanese fishcake called “kamaboko”.

Sources: herehere and here

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