Sawfish rostra are commonly found in historic natural science collections, yet there is a scarcity of guidance on their preservation. Rostra are cartilaginous with teeth-like scales. The function and structure of sawfish rostra as well as key mechanical and chemical issues need to be considered for their appropriate care in museum collections. Possible routes of decay are discussed, and methods for the care and conservation of rostra in museum collections are suggested. The species of sawfish can be determined by the morphology of the rostral structure. Physical damage, due to the nature of the material and from handling, often causes deterioration of rostra.

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Author notes

Associate Editor.—Alana Gishlick