Thanks to the sheer diversity of the deep-sea biota, we will never run out of interesting information to explore! There is literally plenty of fish in the sea with varying sizes and unique characteristics. And one of the most impressive fish we should talk about is Sturgeon! It is a type of fish that can grow to a gigantic size. Not just that, Sturgeon also holds so many unusual facts that will blow your mind!
Sturgeon is, in fact, categorized as a primitive fish that appeared hundreds of thousand years ago. This fish has relatively the same morphological characteristics as the early ancient fossils that have been found before. It is a versatile species that can live in lakes, rivers, and beaches in North America, the Eurasian sub-arctic, and other subtropical regions.
If you love fishes with extraordinary uniqueness, you will also love Sturgeon. And so, here are some facts about Sturgeon that will make you appreciate this beautiful marine life even more! Some of these facts might even terrify you!
1. Can Weigh Up To 3,463 Pounds!
Sturgeon is a fish that is often caught in a fishing competition. Its large size and heavyweight are the main attraction. Fishermen sometimes also catch Sturgeon intentionally or unintentionally. Do you know the record for the heaviest Sturgeon ever caught?
Based on data recorded in the Guinness World Record, the white Sturgeon caught in the Volga estuary in 1827 is the world record holder for the heaviest Sturgeon. This fish weighs 3,249 pounds, or the equivalent of 1,473 kg! Due to its primitive genetics, the Sturgeon fish is one of the oldest fish species still alive today with a giant body.
What an incredible heavyweight champion! Will you be able to lift this gigantic fish? Let us know!
2. Can Live to Be More Than 100 Years Old!
Some primitive fish do have a very long lifespan. They have a unique aspect of heredity that allows them to live very long. In fact, Sturgeon also has this kind of characteristic. It is a fish with long life and unusually large size. Sturgeons can live up to 100 years!
Yes, you read it right! This fish species can live so long. Compared to other primitive fish species that only live 1 to 10 years like neon tetras, angelfish, Oscars, and Plecostomus, Sturgeon fish have a very long life span!
3. It’s a Living Dinosaur
We know that dinosaurs went extinct millions of years ago. However, did you know the surprising fact that Sturgeon is actually a living dinosaur?
This fact resulted from data and responses from fisheries biologists from Vancouver, Washington. They estimate that Sturgeon fish have been around for 200 million years! Its large size, like a dinosaur, supports this hypothesis. Do you like dinosaurs? The giant Sturgeons will blow your mind!
4. Sturgeon Hunted for Caviar
Caviar is a premium delicacy dish that comes at an exorbitant price. They are salted eggs taken from fish of the genus Acipenseridae. In general, caviar comes from Sturgeon fish eggs.
Due to the value of the caviar, people hunt Sturgeon for its eggs. Caviar is harvested from the bodies of dead female Sturgeons. Fishermen will wait for adult female Sturgeons to migrate upstream and catch them before laying eggs.
However, there is actually a better way to harvest caviar without killing the fish using the vivace method. This method uses hormone therapy combined with a simple surgical technique to obtain eggs without killing the Sturgeon fish. Its delicious meat and caviar make Sturgeon fish has a high price tag. The Beluga Sturgeon is the most valuable Sturgeon because of its egg production capability.
The caviar obtained from the Sturgeon Beluga fish is the most sought-after and desired. Did you know that caviar obtained from Beluga Sturgeon fish will cost you US$8000/kg! What a fantastic price! This data is taken from OCEANA. This amazing value results from the abundance of caviar egg mix from the Beluga Sturgeon. That’s what makes this fish much hunted by fishers.
5. Sturgeons Can Jump!
Did you know that Sturgeon fish can jump? Is it possible for this fish to jump with large body size? Yes, Sturgeon fish jump to help them equalize the pressure in their swim bladder. Sturgeon fish will move and jump into different depths when the pressure of the surrounding environment changes to higher or lower level. Sturgeons also jump to swallow the air needed to maintain their buoyancy in the water. What a surprising fact, isn’t it?
6. Raw Sturgeon Meat Tastes So Good
People hunt Sturgeon, not just for their caviar. Fishermen also caught this fish for its meat. If you are a lover of fish-based dishes, you would want to try Sturgeon.
In fact, Sturgeon has a soft and refreshing consistency and taste. This is why eating raw Sturgeon fish is the best way to enjoy the delicious taste of the meat. In Japan, people mainly eat Sturgeon fish raw as sushi or sashimi. However, you can also boil sturgeon fish to make it even softer.
7. Sturgeon Have Strong Armor
The Sturgeon has five rows of bony scales with more than 10 sections along its body. The scales of the Sturgeon fish are so strong and hard that they are nicknamed armor. The bony prominences of the sturgeon act like a protective layer on this gigantic marine animal. The surprising thing is that the Sturgeon fish remains very fast and agile because of its cartilaginous skeleton instead of the hardened and heavier bones.
8. They are Critically Endangered
Over-hunting of Sturgeon fish has put them in the endangered category! Delicious meat with very expensive caviar makes Sturgeon fish caught by many fishermen. Based on data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Sturgeon fish must be under close supervision to prevent them from becoming extinct.
They released data that the Chinese Sturgeon is the species with the highest risk of extinction. China’s sturgeon population fell by 98% from 1973 to 2010. Therefore, sturgeon fishing must be regulated under strict regulations to prevent overfishing.
9. Dominated by Cartilaginous Skeleton
When you see Sturgeon fish, you will notice the bones that make up this fish are very strong. The gigantic size is the reason why. However, did you know that the skeleton of the Sturgeon fish is not made of bone but of cartilage?
Cartilage is the main soft connective tissue throughout the body. The morphology of the skeleton of the Sturgeon fish is similar to that of the shark, which is dominated by cartilage that is not very strong. What do you think about this surprising fact? Write your feedback in the comment column!
10. Sturgeon Does Not Have Scales
Scales are an important body part for fish. This part is the integumentary system of fish produced from the mesodermal layer of fish. The scales act like armor for fish that can protect themselves from predators and a dangerous environment. However, did you know that Sturgeon fish do not have scales?
Sturgeon fish only have a thick and smooth layer of skin to cover and protect the inside of their body. The thick skin of the Sturgeon fish is equipped with five rows of bone plates that act as armor. That’s what helps protect the Sturgeon from predators.
11. Migration is Part of the Life Cycle
Habitat is an important aspect of animal survival. Sturgeon fish have a unique habitat that changes depending on the season. For instance, the Atlantic Sturgeon is an anadromous fish born in freshwater.
After growing up, Atlantic Sturgeon fish will migrate to the sea to survive and find food. The Atlantic Sturgeon will then migrate back to freshwater to lay eggs during the breeding season.
Sturgeon chicks that hatch will stay in freshwater until they are juveniles for at least a few months before they are ready to migrate out to sea. Sturgeon fish can travel quite a distance well.
12. Cannot Digest Most Plant Carbohydrates and Proteins
Looking for prey to eat is an essential activity for fish in general. Sources of nutrients contained in food must be digested to produce adequate energy. However, Sturgeon fish cannot digest most plant carbohydrates and proteins. Why does this happen?
Sturgeon fish do not have the enzymes and bacteria that break down proteins and carbohydrates in their intestines. Thus, Sturgeon fish can only get nutrients, carbohydrates, and protein from natural sources such as fish and shrimp.
13. Late Reproductive Maturity
Sturgeons are animals that have a long life. This fish is one of the ancient fish unique in its reproductive system. Sturgeon has a relatively slow reproductive system maturity. Male sturgeons reach reproductive maturity at 5 to 7 years of age. On the other hand, female Sturgeon fish have reproductive system maturity at 15 years old.
A study shows that female Sturgeon begin egg development between the ages of 9 and 12 but do not reach reproductive maturity until 15 years of age. This study was commissioned by David B. Fuller and Matthew Jaeger of the Fish and Wildlife Service
14. Massive Sturgeon Attacks
Who would have thought that Sturgeon could attack humans and cause harm? Perhaps we are more familiar with attacks by sharks than Sturgeon. This incident occurred on the Suwannee River in Florida. There was a 911 call stating that a 200-pound Sturgeon attacked 5-year-old Jaylon Rippy.
The Sturgeon jumped into the boat and attacked the boy. Sturgeon fish are not as aggressive as sharks. However, they will attack when disturbed or hit by a ship. They attack because they were hit by a boat while migrating.
15. Sturgeon Fish Have Up To 27 Species!
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has released surprising facts about the Sturgeon. Usually, ancient fish have a small number of species with rare quantities. However, this does not apply to Sturgeon fish. There are 27 species of Sturgeon fish scattered in the Northern Hemisphere.
For instance, the Beluga Sturgeon species is the largest, the white Sturgeon has a beautiful white color, the Lake Sturgeon has an extraordinary swimming ability, and many more. Each species has its specific behavior and habit.
Those are terrifying facts about Sturgeon that blow your mind. Which fact is the most amazing? Give your answer in the comment column!