Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Chondrichthyes

Subclass: Elasmobranchii

Superorder: Batoidea

Order: Rhinopristiformes


Rhinopristiformes is an order of rays, cartilaginous fishes related to sharks, containing shovelnose rays and allied groups. Rhinopristiformes are generally slow to grow, they mature late and have low fecundity, causing them to be susceptible to extinction. They are prone to being caught by many types of commercial fishing equipment. They are caught for their meat but most importantly their fins. While the meat is mostly consumed locally the white fins are a delicacy and highly sought after. They are the most valuable part of Rhinopristiformes; therefore, their fins are in high demand. Both the combination of overfishing and the high desire for their fins the Rhinopristiformes population is depleting rapidly.

Living Families:

Sawfish: Pristidae

Dwarf Sawfish or Queensland Sawfish– Pristis clavata

Longcomb Sawfish or Green Sawfish or Narrowsnout Sawfish– Pristis zijsron

Largetooth Sawfish– Pristis pristis

Knifetooth Sawfish or Narrow Sawfish or Pointed Sawfish– Anoxypristis cuspidata

Smalltooth Sawfish– Pristis pectinata

Guitarfish: Rhinobatidae

Giant Guitarfish: Glaucostegidae

Wedgefish: Rhinidae

Banjo Rays: Trygonorrhinidae

Two additional families are associated with the order but their phylogenetic relationships have not been fully resolved:

Fanrays: Platyrhinidae

Panrays: Zanobatidae