Animal Update: Pallid Sturgeon

Three pallid sturgeons have been added to our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit!

Published September 15, 2017

Pallid sturgeons are native to the muddy floors of the Missouri and Mississippi river basins, ranging from northern Montana to the Gulf of Mexico.

pallid-sturgeon

Growing up to 60 inches long and weighing as much as 80 pounds, these fish are among the largest freshwater fish in North America. They are also among the oldest—ancestors of the pallid sturgeon swam alongside the dinosaurs 70 million years ago! Pallid sturgeon can live to be almost 100 years old. 

They have poor eyesight and no teeth, so pallid sturgeons have a special way to find and eat food. They first use their barbels to search for food, and then use their flat snouts to uncover what they found on the river floor. They eat by sucking up fish, mollusks and insects through their tube-shaped mouths.

Pallid sturgeons are currently listed as endangered, and loss of habitat is commonly cited as the main reason for their population decline. To prevent them from going extinct, young pallid sturgeons are being grown in hatcheries and released into the wild. They are then closely monitored to help scientists study and better understand this important fish!

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes updates!

 
Previous Post

Featured Stories

turtle-swimming-rehab Animal Rescue Update: Our First Release of the Season!

Today, National Aquarium Animal Rescue released 18 sea turtles into the Atlantic Ocean at Canaveral National Seashore in Florida! 

Read the full story

reusable-water-bottles New Year’s Resolutions for the Planet

Resolutions are a great way to start off a new year, and including the planet in your 2018 resolutions is even better! 

Read the full story

Related Stories

Animal Update: Burrowing Exhibit

Published January 19, 2018

Animal Update: Reef Scorpionfish

Published December 22, 2017