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Sturgeon- Not for roe

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 Description

       Sturgeon is a common name used for some 25 species of fish. The family Acipenseridae is known as the true sturgeons. The term sturgeon is sometimes used just to refer to the species in the two most known genera: Huso and Acipenser. Sturgeons are referred to as "primitive fishes" because they remain almost unchanged since the earliest fossil record. This fish is native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic lakes, rivers and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. They ranging from 7 to 12 feet in length and some species grow up to 18 feet. Most of them feed in river deltas and estuaries, spawn upstream and are anadromous bottom-feeders. The first fossil records approximately 200 million years, around the end of the Triassic, but the true sturgeons appear in the fossil during the Cretaceous. They are known as living fossils because their evolution goes slowly. They still have several primitive characteristics such as heterocercal tail, more fin rays than supporting bony elements, reduced squamation and unique jaw suspension. Their skeleton is almost entirely cartilaginous. This is not a primitive character, but is a derived one because sturgeons' ancestors had bony skeleton. You can recognize them for their elongate bodies, distinctive scutes (bony plates) and barbels (tactile organs that precede their toothless wide mouths), flattened rostra and elongated upper tail lobes.

       They use their barbels to detect crustaceans, shells and small fishes. They have no teeth so they are not able to seize prey. Sturgeons are among the largest fish because some belugas (one of sturgeon species) attain over 18 feet and 2000 kg. They have found in the Caspian Sea. Also they are among the longest-lived of the fishes. Some of them live well over 100 years. They are known for their roe which is made into caviar.

They are covered in denticles like sharks.

 

Habitat

       They are native to temperate waters of the Northern Hemisphere. Most of them live in the sea and ascend rivers such as North America, Europe and Asia. Sturgeons adults re found mostly along the bottoms of large main rivers, usually in deep and fresh water. Younger fish prefer slower-moving backwaters. Most of them are found in the rivers of southern Russia and Ukraine and in the fresh water of North America.

 

Diet

They eat everything from chironomids to small invertebrates to baitfish.

Extinction

       Several species of sturgeon are in danger because they are harvest for their roe. they are slow-growing and mature very late (around 20 years) so they are particularly vulnerable to threats such as habitat fragmentation and pollution.

 

Interesting facts

  • Female lake sturgeon releases their eggs for the first time at age 21 to 34. Then it spawns the egg only once every three to five years
  • A single female releases hundreds of thousands of eggs during spring
  • The young fingerling sturgeon is protected from predators by five rows of sharp scutes
  • Male lake sturgeon matures earlier than females (at 14 to 29 years)
  • Female lake sturgeon may live over 150 years and it may have over 300 pounds
  • Beluga sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in the world
  • Beluga sturgeon may live to at least 118 years
  • A beluga sturgeon's roe is sold for an average of $7,000 per kg
  • Beluga sturgeon is critically endangered

 

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Sources:
http://voices.yahoo.com/10-facts-beluga-sturgeon-7571736.html
http://dnr.wi.gov/news/features/feature.asp?id=13&article=3
http://outdoorcanada.ca/29623/fishing/article-fishing/all-about-sturgeon
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/570114/sturgeon
http://www.stewart.army.mil/dpw/fish/STURGEON_facts.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon
http://www.usm.edu/gcrl/public/fish/gulf.sturgeon.php
https://www2.viu.ca/sturgeon/store.asp
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sturgeon_in_Batumi_Aquarium_02.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Astrakhan_Smoked_Fish_Market_05_Sturgeon.jpg
http://gallery.nanfa.org/v/members/Nate+Tessler/nativenorthamericanfreshwaterfish/acipenseridae/Acipenser/transmontanus/_resize_White_sturgeon_+Wizard+Falls_+6-18-13_+NT.JPG.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1
http://animalscamp.com/shortnose-sturgeon/

Published by Cristian Corina Florentina

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