AcipenseridaeSturgeons

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There are 23 species of sturgeons, all found in the northern hemisphere. They are mostly found in large, freshwater lakes and rivers but some species also travel to the ocean and return to rivers and lakes to breed. Sturgeons can grow to be very large, up to 4.2 meters. Sturgeons have rows of large, bony scutes on their bodies. Their mouths are positioned ventrally and have 4 barbels. All sturgeon species have been extensively used by humans for their meat and their roe. As a result, all sturgeon species are either threatened or endangered.

Contributors

Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.

Glossary

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

natatorial

specialized for swimming

tactile

uses touch to communicate