The sawshark redemption: current knowledge and future directions for sawsharks (Pristiophoridae)

Ryan J. Nevatte*, Jane E. Williamson

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Sawsharks (Order: Pristiophoriformes, Family: Pristiophoridae) are a highly distinctive group of sharks, characterized by a tapering saw-like rostrum with a pair of elongate barbels on the ventral surface. Their unusual characteristics should attract attention; however, very few studies have been dedicated to sawsharks. As a result, our understanding of their biology and ecology is limited. However, information on aspects of their biology and ecology can be found in studies not directly focussing on sawsharks. This review provides a synthesis of information pertaining to the 10 recognized sawshark species following a comprehensive search of the scientific literature. We cover their distributions, habitat utilization, life histories, reproduction, trophic dynamics and sensory biology. Current knowledge on their unique rostral structures, the evolutionary history of pristiophorids, taxonomy, behaviour and threats to sawshark populations are also reviewed. This compilation serves as a foundation for sawshark researchers and highlights key knowledge gaps in this unique group of elasmobranchs, thereby beginning the sawshark redemption.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1213-1237
    Number of pages25
    JournalFish and Fisheries
    Issue number6
    Early online date14 Sept 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


    • Demersal elasmobranchs
    • Pliotrema
    • Pristiophorid
    • Pristiophorus
    • Review
    • Sawfish


    Dive into the research topics of 'The sawshark redemption: current knowledge and future directions for sawsharks (Pristiophoridae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this