sturgeon


sturgeon
/sterr"jeuhn/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) sturgeon, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) sturgeons.
any of various large fishes of the family Acipenseridae, inhabiting fresh and salt North Temperate waters, valued for their flesh and as a source of caviar and isinglass: A. brevirostrum, of the Atlantic coast, is endangered.
[1250-1300; ME < AF, OF esturgeon < Gmc; cf. OE styria, OHG sturio (G Stör), ON styrja]

* * *

Any of about 20 species (family Acipenseridae) of large, primitive fishes that live mainly in southern Russia, Ukraine, and North America.

Most species live in the sea and ascend rivers to spawn; a few live permanently in fresh water. Four tactile barbels near the toothless mouth detect invertebrates and small fishes on the mud bottom. Sturgeon flesh and eggs, or roe (caviar), are sold for food. The swim bladder is used in isinglass, a gelatin. The Baltic sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) and several other species are endangered. The Atlantic sturgeon (A. oxyrhynchus),however, is common along the eastern coast of North America and generally is about 10 ft (3 m) long and weighs about 500 lb (225 kg). See also beluga.

* * *

fish
 any of about 25 species of fishes of the family Acipenseridae (subclass Chondrostei), native to temperate waters of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species live in the sea and ascend rivers (possibly once in several years) to spawn in spring or summer; a few others are confined to fresh water. Several species provide caviar from eggs.

      Sturgeons are related to the paddlefish and perhaps to the bichir. They have bony plates (scutes) covering the head and five longitudinal rows of similar plates along the body. The tail fin is heterocercal, the upper lobe being longer than the lower. The toothless mouth, on the underside of the snout, is preceded by four sensitive, tactile barbels that the fish drags over the bottom in search of invertebrates, small fishes, and other food.

      Sturgeons are found in greatest abundance in the rivers of southern Russia and Ukraine and in the freshwaters of North America. In early summer they migrate from the sea into rivers or toward the shores of freshwater lakes for breeding purposes. The eggs, or roe, are small, sticky, and numerous. The young grow rapidly until maturity, after which growth continues slowly for several years. Sturgeons may attain great size, with specimens of 2 to 3 m (7 to 10 feet) a common occurrence in some species.

      Sturgeons are valued for their flesh, eggs, and swim bladder. Their flesh is sold fresh, pickled, or smoked. caviar (q.v.) consists of the eggs, which are stripped from ripe females who are subsequently released. The inner membrane of the sturgeon's swim bladder is used to make isinglass, a very pure form of gelatin used for various industrial purposes. The largest commercial sturgeon fisheries are in southern Russia, Ukraine, and Iran, though the industry is also carried on in the United States and western Europe. Sturgeons are readily overfished, however, and fishing in some areas is strictly limited.

      The common Old World sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) occurs from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. A very similar, closely related form, considered a separate species (A. oxyrhynchus) by some authorities, occurs along the east coast of North America. The length of these fishes is generally to about 3 m; weight is to about 227 kg (500 pounds).

      A. guldenstadtii is one of the most valuable species inhabiting the rivers of Russia and occurs eastward to Lake Baikal. It is about the same size as the common sturgeon and is found particularly in the rivers feeding the Black and Caspian seas. A smaller species, the sterlet (A. ruthenus), inhabits the Black and Caspian seas and is a valuable food fish about 0.9 m long. A. stellatus occurs in the rivers of the Black and Caspian seas and of the Sea of Azov. It has a long, pointed snout like the sterlet, and its flesh, caviar, and isinglass are highly valued.

      The beluga, or hausen (Huso huso, or Acipenser huso), inhabits the Caspian and Black seas and the Sea of Azov. A large sturgeon, it reaches a length of 7.5 m and a weight of 1,300 kg (2,900 pounds), but its flesh and caviar are less valuable than those of smaller species.

      The lake, or rock, sturgeon (A. fulvescens) of North America occurs in the Mississippi River valley, Great Lakes, and Canada and may weigh more than 90 kg (200 pounds). The white, Oregon, or Sacramento sturgeon (A. transmontanus) occurs on the Pacific coast and is the largest of the North American sturgeons, weighing up to 820 kg (1,800 pounds).

      The family Acipenseridae also includes the genus Scaphirhynchus, the shovelhead, or shovelnose, sturgeon, with four species distinguished by their long, broad, flat snouts.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sturgeon — (engl.: Stör) steht für: Sturgeon Lake, mehrere Seen in Nordamerika Sturgeon Klasse, atomgetriebene Jagd U Boote der United States Navy SS N 20 Sturgeon, NATO Codename für eine russischen Interkontinentalrakete Codename einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sturgeon — Lugar designado por el censo de los Estados Unidos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sturgeon — Sturgeon, MO U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 944 Housing Units (2000): 407 Land area (2000): 0.631496 sq. miles (1.635567 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.631496 sq. miles (1.635567 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Sturgeon, PA — Sturgeon Noblestown, PA U.S. Census Designated Place in Pennsylvania Population (2000): 1764 Housing Units (2000): 715 Land area (2000): 2.866061 sq. miles (7.423064 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • sturgeon — c.1300, from Anglo Fr. sturgeon, from O.Fr. esturjon, from a Gmc. source (Cf. O.H.G. sturio sturgeon, O.E. styria), from P.Gmc. *sturjon ; cognate with Lith. ersketras, Rus. osetr sturgeon. Of obscure origin, perhaps from a lost pre IE northern… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sturgeon, MO — U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 944 Housing Units (2000): 407 Land area (2000): 0.631496 sq. miles (1.635567 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.631496 sq. miles (1.635567 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Sturgeon — Stur geon, n. [F. esturgeon, LL. sturio, sturgio, OHG. sturjo, G. st[ o]r; akin to AS. styria, styriga.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of numerous species of large cartilaginous ganoid fishes belonging to {Acipenser} and allied genera of the family… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • sturgeon — [stʉr′jən] n. pl. sturgeons or sturgeon [ME sturgiun < OFr esturjon < Frank * sturjo, akin to OE styria, Ger stör] any of a family (Acipenseridae, order Acipenseriformes) of large, edible, primitive bony fishes having rows of spiny plates… …   English World dictionary

  • Sturgeon — (spr. Stordsch n), See im Territorium der Hudsonsbai Compagnie (Britisches Nordamerika) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • sturgeon — ► NOUN ▪ a very large fish with bony plates on the body, found in seas and rivers and commercially important for its caviar and flesh. ORIGIN Old French …   English terms dictionary

  • Sturgeon — Taxobox name = Sturgeon image width = 250px image caption = Atlantic sturgeon ( Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Actinopterygii ordo = Acipenseriformes familia = Acipenseridae subdivision ranks =… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.