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#222 Largetooth Sawfish

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 14

Phileas Fogg would be sailing out of the Gulf of Arden into the Arabian Sea right now. These used to be found in a band around the world from about 30° Latitude North down to -35° Latitude South. Unfortunately they are extirpated from much of their original habitat now. They can still be found along the coast of Somalia, but their status is unknown along the coast of Yemen. Though they can theoretically grow to be up to 25 feet long, the largest caught was right around 23 feet long. Now though, they almost never get to be over 8 feet long even. They are at risk because of hunting and loss of habitat. They are not sharks, though they look like they are, they are actually rays. They are born with the total number of "teeth" they will ever have on their rostrum and if any are damaged and fall out, they do not get replaced. At birth the teeth are actually a bit flexible but they harden up later. They use their saw to sense electrical signals given off by their prey, which are crustaceans and fish. They can actually cut a fish in half with their saw, but it is mostly used to find food. They aren't dangerous to humans, unless you capture them and they try to defend themselves.

I love the eyes of sawtooth rays. They are really rather beautiful I think. For Christmas my mom got me some very large lovely paper, probably 30 inches or so. I'm not very good at measurements. I've not decided what I want to paint on them, or even if I want to do watercolour instead of maybe doing charcoal, pastels, or even ink maybe. I will have to figure out where they are going to hang too, we have a few spots I could put a large painting, but it would require rearranging pictures of the kids, and other stuff for sure and that would essentially be the whole wall! I am sure though that one of the sheets will be a crow or raven and the other will be an octopus. I love octopus eyes which are quite different from the ray's eyes, but remind me a bit of them. I have very boring eyes, and because I have to wear glasses, I can't have the fun fake lashes that lots of people do. I have a hard enough time if I wear mascara because while you can barely tell I have eyes with my glasses on, I have fairly long lashes.

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