The largest sawfish ever measured by scientists was found dead in the Florida Keys, USA. It is reported by Live Science.
The fish with a sharp snout 4.9 meters long was an adult female. The size of eggs found in her reproductive tract is comparable to a baseball ball. This is a record for Pristis pectinata (common sawbore), which is one of the five sawfish species.
Now scientists are studying her carcass to determine the age of the individual and learn more about the reproductive past.
“While it’s sad when such a large animal dies, there is a lot to learn scientifically,” explains Gregg Pulakis, a biologist with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The record-breaking sawfish was one of two dead sawfish washed ashore in the Florida Keys last week: one near Kajo Key, the other at Marvin Key. The individuals were found far from each other, so the time of their death is most likely accidental, Pulakis said.
Citizens reported the fish to a hotline, and local law enforcement helped tow the bodies to shore so researchers could measure them and take tissue samples. Sawfish have been under scrutiny by the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute since 2003 after being listed on the US Federal List of Endangered Species. All five sawfish species are also listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.