|Official Name||Sawbone Shark|
|Common Nicknames||Carpenter Fish|
|Habitat||Depths of various oceans and seas across Aloria|
Sawbone Sharks are small sharks spread across Aloria in dark regions inaccessible to many. Here the strange creatures with their saw-like snouts swim in small schools and live a life largely in avoidance of surface turmoil and chaos. Their unique facial feature has caught the attention of many, and the fish is now viewed as more of a curiosity than an actual resource. As a result, when they turn up, they are prized by the right type of nautically-inclined people but remain largely ignored in the dark depths.
Sawbone Sharks have been a background constant to many years of maritime and naval history since before the Cataclysm. Some believe it was the ancient Asha who first encountered them, but most assert it to have been the Altalar of the fledgling Allorn Empire. Regardless, the waters around Daen possessed a number of the creatures, but their generally ugly appearance and location deep underwater see them rarely caught or hunted. Ever since this time, the Sawbone Shark has kept that status. Only occasionally has it been fished up from the depths by fishing vessels, and often by accident with some larger group of fish. They are somewhat of a natural curiosity, however, and while few seek them out for their meat, their unique physical structure is often of interest to sailors, captains, and scholars involved in studying aquatic regions. As such, they often fetch a generous sum at the market, but on the whole, the animal remains largely ignored and undisturbed.
Sawbone Sharks are a small species of shark, being only three to three and a half feet long, weighing anywhere from fifteen to twenty pounds. Their heads possess their most distinguishable body feature: a prominent and long, saw-like rostrum at the front of their face. Flat and squared off, at least seven small boney points emerging on either side of the rostrum, the body part also features a pair of small, thin nasal barbels that face downward. The animal’s mouth is located on their underside, and above it, they have large, dark-yellow eyes suited for seeing in the darker depths they often live in. The rest of the animal’s body is sleek and slender with a pair of large, curved pectoral fins set behind five gill slits, followed by a curved dorsal fin. The animal’s body ends in a pair of smooth, triangular anal fins, a secondary smaller dorsal fin, and finally a tail with a heterocercal fin. The animal’s skin is a mix of black and dark grey with a tan underside. The fins meanwhile have a grey coloration, but as they are slightly transparent they would usually be darker and better blend into the creature’s body when they are underwater.
Sawbone Sharks have sexual dimorphism, with females unilaterally appearing larger than males when they are full adults. Further differences or diversity within the species is unknown due to their isolation.
Life Span and Development
Sawbone Sharks are like other shark species in that they are ovoviviparous, which means that the eggs they form remain inside the mother until they hatch, at which point the pups are released. Sawbone Shark pups have inverted teeth at birth to avoid harming their mother, but afterward, soon push them into their proper spots. Additionally, their coloration is far more intense, with sharp blacks and greys next to each other on their skin. For two years they remain with their mother, swimming in a loose school of up to thirty individuals, but they are ultimately independent and break away to live their own lives. They are considered fully mature at the age of five and can live for up to fifteen years.
The mentality of Sawbone Sharks is unknown as their depth in the ocean and generally, their small size does not lend itself well to observation. However, it can be said what they are not. They are not overly aggressive like some species of fish or how sharks are normally portrayed. Instead, they are fairly skittish and timid, living in the depths and eating small creatures suitable to their environment. They are also nurturing, unlike most species of fish, and care for their pups, allowing them to live in the school.
Territory and Groupings
Sawbone Sharks are spread out across Aloria in various oceans at deep depths of the water and regions most Humans can never reach. They live in schools of up to thirty members, who live a nomadic, scavenging lifestyle, lacking a territorial drive and sweeping over a large patch of the sandy watery depths of Aloria seeking creatures to be eaten.
- The actual function of their “sawbone” is unknown to scholars. It’s unique shape perhaps suggests a weapon, while others believe it is simply a sort of natural trowel to help them dig in the sand for prey.
- The reason for the association with the Asha and the Sawbone Shark was due to an early Ailor discovery in Daendroc of an Asha ruin showing a strange “saw fish” present in a mural of Asha interacting with the sea, catching it and several other species of fish which have almost all been identified. However, in 170 AC, Ithanian agents in cooperation with local aristocratic Elves destroyed the site, and only the writings of the original expedition remain.