Smalltooth sawfishes feed on small schooling fishes such as mullet and herrings, typically using the rostrum to slash through schools, eating those fish wounded in the attack. Some have been observed feeding on crustaceans and other benthic organisms. In these cases, the rostrum is often used to stir up the benthos, startling prey (Bigelow and Schroeder 1953).Predators: Young Pristis pectinata may be vulnerable to attack by sharks, but there are no other known predators.Habitats: Smalltooth sawfishes generally inhabit inhabit shallow coastal waters of inshore bars and banks, mangrove creeks, seagrass beds, and river mouths, primarily over muddy or sandy bottoms. They occasionally enter freshwater. They are most commonly observed within 1 mile of land, at depths less than 10 m (32.8 feet) (NMFS 2000).Young Pristis pectinata are most often found on sallow sands and mud banks no deeper than 30 cm (11.8 inches). Larger juveniles are dependent on shallow inshore habitats near river mouths and estuaries where water depth averages approximately 2 m (6.6 feet). Adults can be found in waters of 100 m depths (Simpfendorfer 2005).
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- Simpfendorfer, C.A. 2005. Threatened fishes of the World: Pristis pectinata Latham, 1794 (Pristidae). Environmental Biology of Fishes (2005)73:20.
- Simpfendorfer, C.A. 2000. Predicting population recovery rates for endangered Western Atlantic sawfishes using demographic analysis. EnvironmentalBiology of Fishes. 58:371-377.
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