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Sawfish Sampling

Researchers, from the University of Southern Mississippi and Louisiana State University, took tissue samples from the rostrum ('saw') of five sawfish in our collections.

As part of their research they are looking to "determine if the declines in abundance in sawfishes in the past 100 years have been accompanied by a decline in genetic diversity, and if so, to what degree?"

Through counting the number of teeth and their distance apart on the rostrum, the specimens in Portsmouth Museum Service collections were identified as Green Sawfish, Pristis zijsron, and Knife-toothed Sawfish, Anoxypristis cuspidate.

To date tissue samples have been taken from over 400 specimens held in museums throughout England, Scotland and Wales.