Trivia question for Feb-16-2011

Posted on Feb 16, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia has always liked these strange looking fish and today she decided to feature them in her trivia so here goes:  The most eye-catching feature of the sawfish is their saw-like snout.  The snout is covered with motion- and electro-sensitive pores that allow sawfish to detect movement and even heartbeats of buried prey in the ocean floor.  Their snout acts like a metal detector as the sawfish hovers over the bottom, looking for hidden food.

All species of sawfish are considered critically endangered.  Sawfish are nocturnal, usually sleeping during the day, hunting at night.  Despite fearsome appearances, they are gentle fishes and will not attack humans unless provoked or surprised.  The smalltooth sawfish is well known by fishermen as a prize game fish because of the fight it puts up once hooked. Capturing sawfish is illegal in the United States and Australia.

So here are her questions: How do the sawfish maintain buoyancy, what is their odd looking snout called, and tell us 2 reasons why sawfish are illegally sought after?

Good luck 😉


I knew when Olivia decided to add the question about the sawfish’s buoyancy, it would make things difficult but we did get some great guesses.  Here are the answers:  Like other elasmobranchs – (cartilaginous fish of a group that comprises the sharks, rays, and skates) sawfishes lack a swim bladder and use a large, oil-filled liver instead to keep them buoyant.

The sawfish’s saw-like snout is called a rostrum.  As well as being accidentally caught in fishing nets sawfish are also hunted for their rostrum (which is prized as a curiosity by some), their fins (which are eaten as a delicacy), their liver oil and for use as medicine.

Here is more on these odd looking fish: Sawfish

Thanks for playing along 😉