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Replacement of Rostral Teeth in Sawfishes and Sawsharks

Bob H. Slaughter and Stewart Springer
Copeia
Vol. 1968, No. 3 (Aug. 31, 1968), pp. 499-506
DOI: 10.2307/1442018
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1442018
Page Count: 8
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Replacement of Rostral Teeth in Sawfishes and Sawsharks
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Abstract

In recent sawfishes, Pristis (order Batoidei), rostral teeth that are lost are not replaced and those not severely damaged in use increase in size throughout life. Presumably similar conditions pertain to fossil sawfish genera having socket-like attachments for rostral teeth. In recent sawsharks, Pristiophorus and Pliotrema (order Selachii), rostral teeth are replaced if lost and do not increase in size after reaching a functional position. Similarities in tooth development and the process of replacement were observed in recent sawsharks (Selachii) and in the Cretaceous sawfish genus Sclerorhynchus (Batoidei). Also, the pattern of varying length of rostral teeth in adults of recent sawsharks (Selachii), which is explained by the appearance of both new and replacement teeth at intervals during growth, offers a possible explanation for the presence of rostral teeth of various lengths in the Cretaceous ganopristid sawfish Onchopristis numidus (Batoidei).

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