An exceptionally fine and rare Anoxypristis sawfish rostrum sympathetically conserved out of the original matrix or fossil bedrock. Several teeth have been re-seated back into the dental alveoli socket. From a scientific viewpoint, this specimen is highly important, from a collection and aesthetic point of view a rare opportunity to acquire a nearly complete fossil sawfish rostrum. When the sawfish decayed on the seabed, the cartilage parts would have eaten by other predators and eventually decayed by bacteria, only the hardest parts, like this rostrum and teeth would lay in sediments which eventually hardened, fossilising into limestone.
Once found, the matrix surrounding one side of the rostrum was carefully and partially removed before a burlap jacket was placed around the newly revealed section for a stable removal from the fossil matrix for further transportation. Later the whole restored in a studio lab in England where further restoration of the Anoxypristis sawfish rostrum took place.
The sawfish group closely resemble modern-day sharks, with streamline body shape and triangular fins, rows of menacing rostral teeth. Sawfish also have teeth in the mouth or jaws. Prehistoric sawfish attained great size, up to around twenty to twenty-five feet and must have been quite a handful for dinosaur predators like Spinosaurus. These theropod dinosaurs being fish-eating dinosaurs favoured the large prehistoric sawfish. Modern-day sawfish along with prehistoric sawfish have a very good line of defence, with rows of rostral teeth which they use to stun prey before eating. One can imagine they would also be very useful fending off an attack in the prehistoric age against a predator like Spinosaurus aegypticus.
Modern day sawfish live along sandy bottoms of inshore seas, venturing into estuaries and sometimes swimming upstream into rivers. This sounds the perfect habitat to describe the lagoons and waterways of the prehistoric Cretaceous period of North Africa when Spinosaurus swam and hunted the warm water margins of a subtropical environment.
A note on fossil collecting in Morocco. Specimens of this completeness and quality are difficult to attain, not only through the fossil trade but also from the fossil layers of Morocco. This is largely due to many fossil beds repeatedly becoming restricted, generally suffering erosion and flooding and finally workings drying up, as in any mining pursuit, these fossils are finite. Coupled with the facts that often the locality of fossil beds are also difficult to access. Particularly with machinery making the excavating process extremely slow and more commonly than not by hand with basic tools. Fossil material from the deepest working beds of Morocco is often subject to more fossil wear, due to the constant change to the environment. Gradual yet continuous movement affects the beds, often causing them to collapse, effectively distorting and crushing fossil deposits.