Marine scientists play risky game of tag with predator

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The boat captain and the scientist wielded their lasso like seasoned cowboys instead of fishermen. A good thing, since their lives literally depended on it: roping an upset, 13-foot-long, prehistoric creature waving a double-toothed saw in the water is just as dangerous as grabbing a bull by the horns.

The point of this hazardous maritime rodeo is for researchers from the Smalltooth Sawfish Recovery Team to learn as much as they can to help bring back one of the top predators in the marine ecosystem — nearly wiped out through its entire range over the past century.

“These guys started disappearing before we as biologists started figuring out they were going,” said George Burgess, who runs a sawfish database at the University of Florida’s Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

Click here for the full report from the Miami Herald on the elusive marine creatures.