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(vertebrate zoology)
The sturgeons, a family of actinopterygian fishes in the order Acipenseriformes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(sturgeons), a family of cartilaginous ganoid fishes. The snout is more or less elongated, and the jaw is toothless and protractile. There are four barbels in front of the inferior mouth. The internal skeleton is cartilaginous. The body is covered with five rows of bony scutes and with bony granules and plates. The anterior rays of the pectoral fins resemble thick spines. The largest representatives of the family (Huso) reach a length of 9 m.

There are four genera of sturgeons, embracing 23 species. The genera are Huso, Acipenser, Scaphirhynchus, and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The genus Huso has two species, the beluga (Huso huso) and the kaluga (H. dauricus). The Acipenseridae are distributed in the northern hemisphere; they are found as far south as the tropic of Cancer. All species reproduce in rivers, that is, only in fresh water. They spawn in the spring and summer, usually in rapids with gravelly bottoms; the roe adhere to the bottom.

Some Acipenseridae, such as the Scaphirhyncus, Pseudosca-phirhyncus, the sterlet (Acipenser ruthensis), and the lake sturgeon (Acipenserfulvescens), are freshwater fishes. The remaining species are semimigratory or migratory; they enter rivers for laying roe and return to the sea for feeding and growing. The young of migratory species roll down to the sea. In some migratory species there are freshwater and semimigratory forms. Sexual maturity is usually attained by the eighth to tenth year or later. Some species of Acipenseridae are predators; these include the beluga and the kaluga. Some species, such as the sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) and the sterlet, feed principally on benthic invertebrates.

The Acipenseridae are very valuable commercial fishes. The USSR accounts for the largest proportion of the world catch. The number of some migratory species has sharply declined owing to the disturbance of conditions of reproduction and, in some bodies of water, excessive fishing.


Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 4, part 1. Moscow, 1971.
Nikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Outre le sang de provenance humaine, les residus identifies comprennent le sang d'esturgeon (Acipenseridae), de chevreuil (Cervidae), de lapin (Leporidae), d'ours (Ursus), de <<chat>> (Felidae) et de <<souris>> (Rodentia).
Food habits of the endangered Alabama sturgeon, Scaphirhynehus suttkusi Williams and Clemmer, 1991 (Acipenseridae).
Age composition of sturgeons (Acipenseridae) occurring along the western shores of the south Caspian.
For example, sturgeons (Acipenseridae), Pacific halibut, and Atlantic cod are long-lived fish that make large-scale spawning migrations and have skipped spawning rates of 10-86% (Loher and Seitz, 2008; Skjaeraasen et al., 2012; Kuhajda, 2014).
Shovelnose sturgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus are the most abundant member of the family Acipenseridae within the Mississippi River and support commercial fisheries in portions of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers (Kline and Golden, 1979; Carlson et al., 1985; Hurley et al., 1987).
appendix (DeKay), American NW brook lamprey Petromyzon marinus Linnaeus, sea NW lamprey Order Acipenseriformes (paddlefish, strugeons) Family Acipenseridae (sturgeon) Acipenser fulvescens Rafinesque, W, S lake surgeon Scaphirhynchus platorynchus W, SE (Rafinesque), shovelnose sturgeon Family Polyodontidae (paddlefish) Polyodon spathula (Walbaum), W, SE paddlefish Order Lepisosteiformes (gars) Family Lepisosteidae (gars) Lepisosteus oculatus Winchell, NE, SW spotted gar L.
Species Collection Site Petromyzontidae Lampetra appendix, American 49 (adult); 26, 27, brook lamprey 42, 49, 67 (ammocoete) Ichthyomnyzon unicuspis, 1, 4, 11 (adult); 49, silver lamprey 51, 53, 64 (ammocoete) Polyodontidae Polyodon spathula, paddlefish 7 Acipenseridae Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10 shovelnose sturgeon Lepisosteidae Lepisosteus oculatus, 62 spotted gar L.
Parasites of Acipenser brevirostrum LeSueur and Acipenser oxyrhynchus Mitchill (Osteichthyes: Acipenseridae) in the Saint John River Estuary, N.B.
Parasites of lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens Rafinesque, 1817 (Chondrostei: Acipenseridae) from Central Canada.