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Local animals in this group:

sturgeons and paddlefishes


The paddlefishes and sturgeons group is a small order of fish that includes about 25 species in two families. This is an ancient fish lineage, dating to before the age of the dinosaurs. There are two species of paddlefish, one in North America and the other in China. There are about 23 species of sturgeons. Sturgeon species can grow to be huge, 4.2 meters (14 feet) or longer and up to 2000 kilograms in mass. Beluga sturgeon are the largest freshwater fish in the world. These are also long-lived fish, living 120 years or more. However, sturgeons have been widely and intensively used by humans for both meat and their roe (eggs), which is made into caviar. As a result most sturgeon species are at risk of extinction.


Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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Dewey, T. . "Acipenseriformes" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 07, 2023 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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