This is an x-ray image of a smalltooth sawfish along with a corresponding photograph of the specimen in identical pose. The long toothy rostrum or “saw” gives sawfish their common name. They use the saw to dig in the sand for crustaceans or to attack prey by vigorously slashing from side to side. Note that the radiograph is a composite: where the two images were spliced, the vertebral column appears to be “broken” behind the head.


  • Title: Smalltooth Sawfish
  • Location: Florida Reefs, Florida, United States, Atlantic
  • Physical Dimensions: 65.5 cm (25.8 in)
  • Type: Radiograph
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): 42374
  • Scientific Name: <i>Pristis pectinata</i> Latham, 1794
  • Photo Credit: Sandra J. Raredon, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Field: Vertebrate Zoology

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