An incredibly rare fish, the Largetooth Sawfish, (Pristis microdon), has taken up residence in Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. The Sawfish, one of the biggest members of the tank, is a member of the shark, skates and ray family.
The sawfish has a long flattened tapered snout which can measure up to a fifth of its total length and houses 14-23 evenly-spaced 'teeth,' giving it the appearance of a saw. The teeth on a sawfish’s rostrum (nose) are modified tooth-like structures called denticles. The teeth they use for eating are small and dome-shaped and located inside the mouth. The sawfish is a polyphyodont, meaning that it can replace its own teeth if they are worn down or lost. Sawfish are one of the world's biggest and can grow to a length of over 7 metres.
The Sawfish is only allowed to reside in aquriums with the highest standard in husbandary programmes, and the Dubai Aquarium, with it's continued international best practices in aquarium management, fits the bill. The Sawfish will join the ongoing Shark AI (artificial insemmination) programme, in an effort to assist in repopulating the species declining global numbers. The first species to benefit from the programme were sand tiger sharks, who like the Sawfish give birth to pups in the womb.
You can see the Sawfish at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at the Dubai Mall daily from 10am to 12am. Book tickets at www.thedubaiaquarium.com or call 04 448 5200 for more information.