Fun Japanese Sawshark Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
To learn more about this shark, read these Japanese Sawshark facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.1 Min

The Japanese Sawshark, Pristiophorus japonicus as it scientifically referred to, belongs to the Pristiophoridae family and has certain similarities with other members of the family. These sharks can be found in the northwest Pacific Ocean that includes around Japan, northern China that includes China sea, Yellow sea, and the Bohai Sea, Taiwan, and Korea.

This shark mostly inhabits coastal and deeper waters and continental shelf types of habitats.

Their reproduction is ovoviviparous and takes place seasonally and after an unknown gestation period, birth is given to around 12 pups.

This shark has a long, narrow, and flattened body with a flattened head and snout. It is brownish in color and youngs are similar looking and have light color sides or edges on the dorsal and pectoral fins.

This shark feeds on crustaceans and uses its barbels to find the organisms in the substrate. This shark can be migratory and thus, move along the water column when there are significant changes in the temperature.

It is quite fascinating to know about this shark and if you're interested, read about the saw shark and hammerhead shark too.

Japanese Sawshark Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Japanese Sawshark?

The Japanese Sawshark, Pristiophorus japonicus as it is scientifically known, are sharks.

What class of animal does a Japanese Sawshark belong to?

It belongs to the class of Chondrichthyes.

How many Japanese Sawsharks are there in the world?

There has been no exact number of these saw sharks recorded.

Where does a Japanese Sawshark live?

These sharks are found in coastal waters around the continental shelves. They can be found in the northwest Pacific Ocean around Japan, northern China that includes China sea, Yellow sea, and the Bohai Sea, Taiwan, and Korea.

What is a Japanese Sawshark's habitat?

They prefer temperate areas and inhabits coastal or continental shelves, upper slopes, or near bottoms. They can also be seen in sandy or muddy bottoms of coastal shelves. These sharks tend to migrate along the water column as and when there are changes in the temperature.

Who do Japanese Sawshark live with?

The Japanese Sawshark, Pristiophorus japonicus as it is scientifically known, can be seen in groups and alone.

How long does a Japanese Sawshark live?

Saw sharks are known to live for 9-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Their mating season takes place seasonally and these sharks are ovoviviparous, that is, the eggs hatch inside the body. The gestation period of this species is unknown and birth is given to around 12 pups. Males reach sexual maturity when they are about 31-39 in long and females reach sexual maturity when they are about 39 in long.

What is their conservation status?

The Pristiophorus japonicus is on the Internation Union for Conservation of Nature Red List (IUCN) as Data Deficient as little information is available about this shark. It is not thought that the conservation of this fish is urgently needed.

Japanese Sawshark Fun Facts

What do Japanese Sawsharks look like?

These sharks have a long, narrow, and cylindrical type of body. These sharks have very flattened heads and snouts and a saw-like rostrum.

This rostrum has a pair of barbels ahead of the nostrils along with posterior and ventral teeth on the side of the saw.

The eyes of this shark are on the sides and behind them are the suction holes. Similar to other saw sharks, they have five-gill slits and two dorsal fins with no thorn and no anal fin.

The tail stalk-like all other saw sharks it has few clear keels and only has a large upper lobe and no lower lobe  The Japanese Sawshark color is brown or reddish-brown and the underside is lighter or paler or white.

The sides of the body are somewhat darker and there is a dark line on the rostrum. Young ones have few teeth and light color sides or edges on the dorsal and pectoral fins.

The length of the snout and its barbels are some of its identifiable features.

How cute are they?

These sharks are not considered cute.

How do they communicate?

Not much information is available about the communication of the Japanese Sawshark.

How big is a Japanese Sawshark?

The Japanese Sawshark can grow up to up to 54 in (1371.5 mm) long. The Sawsharks are smaller than other sawfish since an adult averages around 1 m depending on the species while sawfish are around 7 m.

How fast can a Japanese Sawshark move?

The exact speed of the Japanese Sawshark is unknown but they are known to move or swim fast.

How much does a Japanese Sawshark weigh?

The exact weight of the Japanese Sawshark is unknown.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of the species.

What would you call a baby Japanese Sawshark?

While there is no particular name for a baby Japanese Sawshark, they are often referred to as pups.

What do they eat?

The Japanese Sawshark feeds on fish, squid, shrimp, and many other crustaceans. It eats organisms that are found in ocean substrates that is sand or mud. To find or hunt these organisms, these sharks use their barbels to poke the substrates and locate their food. The Japanese Sawshark eating habits include cutting their food or prey by its teeth.

Are they poisonous?

The Japanese Sawshark or Pristiophorus japonicus is not poisonous and is not considered to be a threat to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

It is quite uncommon to keep the Japanese saw sharks as pets. The Japanese Shawshark would not make a good pet as it is very difficult to put them in tanks with the appropriate habitat and environmental conditions.

Did you know...

This shark's long snout or nose makes up for 20-30% of the body.

The pectoral and dorsal fins of this shark are covered with plates or placoid scales, these are actually known to be modified teeth that are found only on sharks and rays. This provides protection from predators and injuries and also reduces drag from friction when swimming.

It is not of much importance to fisheries except in Japan where the meat of this shark is considered to be of high quality and is used for human consumption.

This species is mostly a bycatc' of gill nets, trawl nets, and bottom longline fisheries because of its thorns or spiny-type scales on the snout.

This shark is not found in Western Central Pacific and is only found in the northwest Pacific Ocean.

The depth range of this species is around 50-800 m.

For many years it was believed that these saws or barbels are there to dig through the substrates to find food but these barbels or saws are also there to catch and kill prey.

What is the difference between a Sawfish and a Sawshark?

Both the species, Sawfish and Sawshark, are elasmobranch fishes. The difference between the two includes firstly, the Sawshark is a ray with gills on the sides while Sawfish is a ray with gills on the underside.

The most recognizable difference is their size.

The Sawfish can be more than 20 ft long and weigh around 1200 lb while the Sawshark is around 5 lb and probably weighs around 20 lb. The saw of the Sawfish is rimmed with teeth of equal or similar size or length while that of a Sawshark has teeth of differing sizes.

There are around eight species of Sawsharks while there are five species of the Sawfish. Though both the species spend most of their time on the seabed, Sawfish prefer to be in coastal waters more and the Sawshark inhabits deeper waters.  

Are Sawsharks aggressive?

While this shark is predatory, it is believed to be of no harm to humans and thus, is not considered to be aggressive.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including the basking shark and sawfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our japanese sawshark coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

Diya Patel picture

Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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