sawfish

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sawfish primitive ray with sharp teeth on each edge of a long flattened snout
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sawfish (Zoöl) Any one of several species of elasmobranch fishes of the genus Pristis. They have a sharklike form, but are more nearly allied to the rays. The flattened and much elongated snout has a row of stout toothlike structures inserted along each edge, forming a sawlike organ with which it mutilates or kills its prey.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sawfish An elasmobranchiate or selachian fish of the family Pristidæ, having the snout prolonged into a flat saw or serra beset on each side with horizontal teeth pointing sidewise. The body is elongate like that of a shark, but is depressed, and the branchial apertures are inferior. The first dorsal is opposite or a little back of the bases of the ventrals. Five or six species of the genus are known; they are chiefly inhabitants of the tropical oceans, but occasionally wander beyond their ordinary limits. The European species is Pristis antiquorum, the pristis of the ancients, of the Atlantic Ocean, attaining a length of from 10 to 20 feet, and of a grayish color. The common American saw-fish is Pristis pectinatus. The saw attains a length of a yard or more, and is straight, flat, a few inches wide, obtuse at the end, and furnished in the European species with from sixteen to twenty pairs, and in the American with from twenty-four to thirty-two pairs of stout sharp teeth, firmly implanted at some distance apart; it is used as a weapon of offense and defense, especially in killing prey. See also cut under Pristis.
    • n sawfish Hence also By extension, one of the different selachians of the family Pristiophoridæ, 337 having a similar saw-like appendage, which never reaches such a size as in the Pristidæ, or true saw-fishes. They are confined to the Pacific. See cut under Pristiophorus.
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Usage

In literature:

But the steamer tore its way out like a savage sawfish and cleaved its heartless way, full speed ahead.
"The Trimmed Lamp" by O. Henry
Ned and Dick were in the skiff which had been towed by the power boat, hoping to harpoon a sawfish or a shark.
"Dick in the Everglades" by A. W. Dimock
He was not a sawfish, or a swordfish.
"Skookum Chuck Fables" by Skookum Chuck (pseud for R.D. Cumming)
Sharks and sawfish, men!
"Ralph Granger's Fortunes" by William Perry Brown
I want to show you a splendid specimen of a saw, taken from a sawfish down in the West Indies, and sent to me.
"Fred Fenton on the Crew" by Allen Chapman
Then the sawfish rolled over on its side, turning one edge of the saw toward the surface.
"The Haunters of the Silences" by Charles G. D. Roberts
The diet and habits of cod; lantern-fish; swordfish; ramora; hagfish; angler; gar-pike; sturgeon; shark; sawfish; paddle-fish.
"A Guide for the Study of Animals" by Worrallo Whitney
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In news:

Australian scientists at the University of Queensland have found that the endangered sawfish uses its eponymous nose for a variety of tasks.
Researchers at Australia's University of Queensland have discovered exactly what that serrated blade on the front of a sawfish is for.
Kayakers get a rare sawfish sighting in Everglades National Park.
Their long snouts lined with pointy teeth make sawfishes hard to miss.
The sawfish then used their snouts to pin their meal onto the bottom of the aquarium to eat it.
Here is some general information on the sawfish genus.
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