Pristiophorus schroederi

Common Name

American Sawshark

Year Described

Springer and Bullis, 1960


A unique very slender and elongated shark, with a compressed body and a very long flattened snout (almost a third of TL). The snout is edged by modified denticles that resemble the teeth in sawfishes. These “teeth” run the entire length of the snout and are of variable length. Another two lines of shorter “teeth” run along the ventral side of snout. Two long sensory barbels extend from mid-point of snout. Spiracles large. There are five gill slits on side of body. Pectoral fins broad and traingular; inserted posterior to gill slits.The two dorsal fins are nearly equal in size. The pelvic fin is located closer to the first dorsal base than the second. The caudal fin is fairly small. Upper and lower jaw teeth are small with a single erect cusp. Upper jaw: 36 teeth; lower jaw: 32 teeth. Dermal denticles overlapping, with a strong central point (with a strong ridge) and a pair of lateral points.


Light brownish gray with a whitish belly. No other markings.


Adults from 38-87cm TL. Maximum size unknown.


Deep waters from 640-950m.


Western Atlantic: so far only known from the Bahamas.


Castro, J.I. 2011. The Sharks of North America. Oxford University Press, 640 pp.

Compagno, L., M. Dando, and S. Fowler. 2005. Sharks of the World. Princeton University Press, 480 pp.

Other Notes

The unrelated sawfishes (Pristis spp.) are easily distinguished by their ventral gills, lack of barbels, wide pectoral fins that attach to head, and their shallow water habitat.