Common sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)

Common sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Acipenser_sturio_1879.jpg Public domain 20/11/2013
Common sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)

The Common sturgeon (Acipenser sturio), also known as the Baltic sturgeon or European sea sturgeon, is a species of sturgeon found on most coasts of Europe. It is currently a critically endangered species.

The wedge-shaped head of this sturgeon ends in a long point. There are many sensitive barbels on the facial area. The dorsal fins are located very far back on the body. Five longitudinal lines of large osseous plates are found on the body of the fish. The belly is yellow and the back is brownish-grey.

This sturgeon typically measures from 1 to 2 meters in length, though some can reach up to 3.5 meters. Average weight is roughly 150 kg, although they can weigh up to 315 kg. They have a late sexual maturity (12 to 14 years for the males and 16 to 18 years for the females) and can live to 40 years of age.

They are found on the coasts of Europe, except the Black Sea and have even been known to cross the Atlantic Ocean to the coasts of North America. Like many other sturgeons, they spawn in the rivers off the coast.

Like other sturgeons, they eat shells and crustaceans which they find with their barbels.

At the beginning of the 19th century, these fish were used extensively to produce caviar, but have been a protected species in Europe since 1982.

Links: Encyclopedia of Life | FAO Species Fact Sheet | Fishbase | ITIS | Pond Life | World Register of Marine Species

Common Names: Atlantic sturgeon, Baltic sturgeon, Common Sturgeon, European sturgeon, Sea sturgeon

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