Largetooth sawfish - Pristis microdon
Though their bodies resemble that of a shark, sawfish are a family of rays. The largetooth (or freshwater) sawfish is found in the tropical waters of the Indo-West Pacific, inhabiting the sandy or muddy bottoms of shallow coastal waters, estuaries, and even lakes, with some individuals spending their entire lives in freshwater. The rostrum, or “saw”, features 12 to 22 large “teeth” on either side - teeth that, unlike those of sharks, are deeply embedded in their cartilaginous sockets - and can be used for digging for benthic invertebrates in the substrate as well as disabling schooling fish. Adults can achieve a maximum size of 21.5 feet. As with all species of sawfish, this species is listed on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered. Not only is it particularly prone to entanglement fishing gear and habitat destruction, the saw is valued worldwide as a souvenir or trophy. Extensive mythology surrounds the sawfish throughout its range: They have been regarded as totems and symbols of warfare, with weapons fashioned out of the rostrum and sawfish emblems adorning WWII vessels, and sawfish parts are in high demand in the Asian medicine and shark fin trades.