Sawfish Fresh Water Monster
The Sawfish does grow very large reaching to about 23 feet and does have very large teeth on its boney snout and will use it to defend itself even against people.
River Monster or Gentle Giant
There are multiple species of sawfish (Pristidae), which are actually closely related to rays and not to be confused with saw sharks.
It has a long boney snout with teeth attached every few inches and can grow as long as two inches each. While the sawfish looks very much like a bull shark from the back of the head to the tail fin, the gills sit underneath and the head is flat, which are characteristic of a ray.
The sawfish has lived as long as the Alligator Gar roaming the earth for as long as 100 million years. Only recently has it risked extinction through overfishing from mankind.
Twenty-three Feet Long
Several species can grow to approximately 7 metres or 23 feet. 17,000 small fish found inside its mouth in plates to crush its prey.
The Myth behind the Sawfish
The sawfish is the stuff of many legends. Fisherman tell tales of this fish attacking boats, tearing it apart and devouring the men after falling into the water. Some legends are based of truth. One is of a man that was fishing off the coast of Florida when he caught one on his line.
The fish turned around and went back to the boat hitting it with such force that the man was knocked into the water where he was savaged by the sawfish. He managed to survive but the fear of the sawfish continued to build. Such was the fear that it has been hunted to near extinction.
It is even believed that this fish hacked a man in two leaving him for dead.
Sawfish are found along a band of the globe from the southern United States down to Brazil and across the globe crossing africa and asia. They prefer bays and estuaries and spawn in rivers systems in their distribution. They may even venture into lakes along major rivers.
Sawfish prefer highly turbot waterways, rivers, bays and estuaries. They are not found in deep water. They have a tolerance for both freshwater and saltwater much the same as the Bull Shark.
The Fact Behind the Myth
The Sawfish does grow very large reaching to about 23 feet and does have very large teeth on its boney snout and will use it to defend itself even against people. It has attached boats but it is not a man eater. However, an attack by even a young sawfish could be lethal.
It is not a danger to man as it only attacks when threatened. Unfortunately, their numbers are so low that recovery may not be possible as long as they continue to be hunted and drift nets are still used in their habitat. It is very possible that they may go extinct in our lifetime. This is one river monster that it a gentle giant.