Thursday October 19, 2023

CBS News

Three smalltooth sawfish pups have been born at SeaWorld Orlando, the aquarium announced. It the only aquarium in the U.S. to have the endangered species, SeaWorld said — and only one other aquarium in the world has welcomed a successful birth of the pups, SeaWorld says in a news release.

Two females and one male were born in July and continued to have regular check ups to make sure they are healthy. The fish look like small sharks and about 2 feet long at birth

While they have shark-like properties like fins and teeth and they belong to the fish group, elasmobranchs, which includes sharks, they are categorized as rays, according to SeaWorld. 

Like rays and sharks, these fish don’t have bones, butcartilage. Their gills and mouths are found on their undersides and they have a long snout lined with 22-29 teeth, hence the name, according to NOAA Fisheries. 

Smalltooth sawfish are native to the Atlantic Ocean and often make their way into river systems in Florida, SeaWorld says. There are two adult smalltooth sawfish at SeaWorld Orlando and in May, veterinarians at the park found the female was pregnant. 

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