The Sturgeon Family
About The Sturgeon Family
Some of the sturgeon family members (white, lake, Atlantic, shovelnose, and pallid) are some of the sturgeon that we have in our world. They live in the open seas as well as in the freshwater from the St. Laurence River in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The white sturgeon can be found in the Pacific coastal waters. The Atlantic sturgeon is found on the Eastern Seaboard.
The largest of the Sturgeon is found in the Atlantic and can reach a weight of 660 lbs. (300kg) and a length of around 13 ft (4m).
They are a primitive and somewhat prehistoric type of fish. The body is mostly cartilaginous. Their skin is virtually scaleless but it is protected by 5-7 rows of large bony shields. The head of a sturgeon has a snout. The mouth is suckerlike and is located well back from the snout on the underside of the head. There are four barbels that hang in a row directly in front of the mouth. There is a single dorsal fin that is close to the fish’s tail. This fish grows extremely slow and takes many years to reach maturity. All of the sturgeon are migratory, but the freshwater species move up into feeder streams to shed their eggs. They are like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to eating. They hoover over the bottom silt with the animal and vegetable matter being siphoned out and swallowed. They eat insect larvae, shrimps, mollusks and small fish. They will also eat almost any small dead animal. One giant sturgeon has been found to contain the remains of a dead cat. These fish are highly rated as a table fish and they will yield eggs which are then sold as caviar.