Fishing is a quiet, philosophical pastime and not every novice angler catches a whopper first time out.
But Florida youngster Daniel Nuzum managed to bag a “prehistoric” smalltooth sawfish some 13 feet long.
The bizarre-looking creature – with its distinctive “chainsaw” beak that experts believe is used both to sense and disable prey – is listed as critically endangered by by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is very rarely spotted in the wild.
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But Daniel managed to catch one first time out – before of course releasing it back into the wild.
AJ Rotondella, who runs a shark fishing guide service on Florida's Treasure Coast called Apex Anglers, uploaded a clip of Daniel’s incredible catch to TikTok.
"While fishing, my clients got the surprise of their life when a sawfish emerged from the waves instead of a shark," AJ told Newsweek.
"They were absolutely shocked and in complete awe. It was actually the kid's first fish ever, which makes it even more unbelievable!"
As he showed off the bizarre-looking creature Daniel proudly announced: “"That was my first ever fish… ever!
“I’ve never been fishing,” he added.
AJ described the bizarre-looking creature as looking like "a stingray with a chainsaw on its face”.
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He says he’s only ever caught one, himself, in all his years of fishing: ”I have caught one other in the past," he said. "I'm not sure how to describe the feeling of being in the presence of a modern day dinosaur, but it's kinda like stepping into a portal straight into the Cretaceous Period."
Because the sawfish is so rarely sighted, little is known about how it uses its bizarre proboscis.
The “saw” appears to be part of an electrical sense that enables the sawfish to detect other fish even in very dark or murky waters.
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But the fearsome tooth-like structures along the edges of the organ also come in handy when it comes to immobilising prey – the sawfish has been seen sweeping its shout from side to side as it approaches shoals of smaller fish, presumably to stun or stab victims which can then be eaten.
The organ has third function too, being used defensively when the sawfish is threatened by a larger animal.
Sawfish are very unlikely to attack humans, and will only do so when they feel threatened or cornered.
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