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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

16-foot sawfish that washed up in the Florida Keys is the largest ever recorded

Posted By on Tue, Apr 13, 2021 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA FWC
  • Photo via FWC
The world’s largest sawfish ever recorded washed up dead on a Florida beach last week. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), two deceased smalltooth sawfish were found washed up on shore in the Florida Keys. One was an immature female that measured 12-feet, 4-inches long, and weighed an estimated 400-500 pounds and the other was a record-breaking 16-foot long, mature female that weighed an estimated 1,000 pounds. It’s currently unknown how the sawfish died, but biologists with the agency say both carcasses were found far enough away (one near Cudjoe Key and the other near Marvin Key) that they believe the deaths were likely unrelated. Scientists know very little about sawfish. The endangered species are rarely spotted alive or otherwise, owing to their small numbers. The FWC says both sawfish specimens will provide valuable information about the species. “The vertebrae will be used to determine the ages of both sawfish, the DNA will be sequenced to compare to other sawfish that have been studied throughout Florida, and the length at maturity for females will be fine-tuned based on these data,” said the FWC in a Facebook post. If you see a sawfish, the FWC wants to know about it. Report a sighting by contacting the agency: Phone: 844-4SAWFISH Email: sawfish@myfwc.com This story originally appeared at our sister publication Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. – Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

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