Endangered Florida Fish

 

 

Shortnose Sturgeon
Shortnose Sturgeon
Illustration credit:
George Brown Goode

 

Sturgeon

 

 

Shortnose Sturgeon
Acipenser brevirostrum

 

To begin: what is a Fish?

A fish is an aquatic vertebrate (has a backbone)

that is cold blooded, has fins, breathes through gills

 and may be covered with scales.


The Shortnose Sturgeon, the smallest of the three

Sturgeon species of the Eastern US, is a primeval

species that may be as much as 200 million years old,

dating back to before the Dinosaurs or

 about the time of Sharks.

 

One looking at this remarkable fish would be

reminded of the Alligator Snapping Turtle

which also has a primordial appearance.

The Sturgeon body is covered with bony plates,

 instead of the usual scales of modern fish species,

 just one of several physical features

that sets this fish apart from others.

Shortnose Sturgeon
A Shortnose Sturgeon
Photo credit: Noel Burkhead

 

The physical appearance of Sturgeons only adds

 to their mysterious appeal for those who study it.

Endangered in Florida since 1967, the

Shortnose lives primarily in the St. Johns River.

Shortnose Sturgeon
Shortnose Sturgeon
Photo credit: Jerry Payne/USDA

 

As they are no longer allowed to be caught,

the greatest danger to this Sturgeon now is

in environmental pollution of the water

that they inhabit.


Shortnose Sturgeon
Photo credit: USFWS

 

Sturgeon are bottom dwellers whose diet

consists mainly of insects and mollusks.

Morrison Springs
Morrison Springs
Choctawhatchee Bay Area
Photo credit: NWFWMD

 

This Sturgeon may reach up to four feet

and can weigh as much as 50 pounds.

The maximum lifespan is up to 60 years,

 with the female outliving the male

by nearly twice as many years.


Shortnose Sturgeon at Surface
Photo credit: Nancy Haley/NOAA

 


Places to learn more:

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

A Comparison of Three Sturgeon Species

 

Fish Base

Acipenser brevirostrum

 

FWC

Shortnos Sturgeon

 

National Geographic

Attacks Over for Now

Giant Jumping Sturgeon

Jumping Sturgeon

 

Nature Conservancy

Shortnose Sturgeon

 

NOAA

Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeons

Shortnose Sturgeon

Shortnosed Sturgeon

 

Science Daily

Endangered Billfish

 

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Decline in Florida's Reef Fish

 

Smithsonian Marine Station - Fort Pierce

Report Template - Shortnose Sturgeon

 


 

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Last edited October 7, 2017

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