What eats saw sharks?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

Adult sawfishes, also known as saw sharks, are apex predators and have very few natural predators. However, there are a few known predators that pose a threat to juvenile sawfishes. These predators include crocodiles, large sharks, and even marine mammals such as dolphins.

Crocodiles are formidable predators and have been observed preying on juvenile sawfishes. They have powerful jaws and are capable of ambushing and capturing unsuspecting sawfishes in shallow coastal waters. Crocodiles are known to be opportunistic hunters and will take advantage of any prey item that presents itself, including young sawfishes.

Large sharks, such as tiger sharks, are also known to prey on sawfishes. Tiger sharks are known for their broad diet and are considered opportunistic hunters. They have been found to consume a variety of prey, including marine mammals, turtles, and even other sharks. It is not uncommon to find pieces of sawfish saws in the stomach contents of large tiger sharks, indicating that they occasionally prey on adult sawfishes.

Interestingly, marine mammals such as dolphins have also been documented as predators of juvenile sawfishes. Dolphins are highly intelligent and skilled hunters, and they have been observed hunting and capturing small sawfishes in coastal waters. While this predation is not as common as with crocodiles or sharks, it does demonstrate that even marine mammals can pose a threat to sawfish populations.

It is important to note that these predators primarily target juvenile sawfishes rather than adults. Adult sawfishes are much larger and possess a formidable weapon in the form of their saw-like rostrum. This rostrum, which is covered in sharp teeth, is used for defense and can be a deterrent to potential predators. The sawfish’s size and defensive capabilities make them less vulnerable to predation as they mature.

While adult sawfishes have very few natural predators, juvenile sawfishes can fall prey to crocodiles, large sharks such as tiger sharks, and even marine mammals like dolphins. These predators take advantage of the smaller size and vulnerability of the young sawfishes. However, as sawfishes grow and develop their impressive rostrums, they become less susceptible to predation.