Fun Pallid Sturgeon Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
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Pallid sturgeon facts on the distinctively long snout and other features

The pallid sturgeon, a fish with a dinosaur-like appearance, is a predator fish that is found in North America. The scientific name of this fish is pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus while in common language it is popularly known as shovelnose sturgeon.

These fishes are huge fishes with long tails and are found in abundance in the Missouri River.

Apart from the Missouri River, the sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus pallid is also found in the lower Yellowstone River and Mississippi River. The pallid sturgeon is a very fascinating creature.

This shovelnose sturgeon species is considered an important species as they may face extinction.

Here are some interesting facts about pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus which will allow you to know more about the giant fish. As they are listed as an Endangered species, the US Fish and Wildlife Service department is running programs to improve the population of the shovelnose sturgeon.

The pallid sturgeon is one of the rarer species of sturgeon and is primarily found near the river bottom.

The shovelnose sturgeon reaches sexual maturity between the age of 7-15 years, while the average life expectancy is around 50 years. Read on to learn all about this species of fish, and after reading these facts about the pallid sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus, check out fluke fish facts and drum fish facts too.

Pallid Sturgeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pallid sturgeon?

A pallid sturgeon is a game fish of ray-finned fish species. This fish is one of the top predators and is pretty large in size. It can grow up to 5-6 ft. It lives around the bottom of rivers like the Yellowstone River, Missouri River, and Lower Mississippi River. It has presently been assigned an Endangered status.

What class of animal does a pallid sturgeon belong to?

A pallid sturgeon is a fish, and it belongs to the Actinopterygii class. These fishes are big fishes and they can lay up to 150,000 eggs at once. However, these eggs are very vulnerable and small in size which is why they lay the eggs near the bottom of the river.

How many pallid sturgeons are there in the world?

There are estimated to be 125 wild pallid sturgeons in the Missouri downstream of Fort Peck Dam to the headwaters of Lake Sakakawea. These are considered endangered species and their population is extremely low now due to the lack of spawning areas. Efforts for their conservation are being conducted in the US.

Where does a pallid sturgeon live?

A pallid sturgeon lives in the river streams. Pallid sturgeon fish are found in the Missouri River, Yellowstone River, and in the Lower Mississippi River from Montana to Louisiana. They prefer to live near their preferred spawning areas.

What is a pallid sturgeon's habitat?

A pallid sturgeon habitat is in the main streams of the Missouri and Mississippi river from Montana to Louisiana.

Who do pallid sturgeons live with?

A pallid sturgeon lives in the main streams of the river and being a top predator this fish generally lives on its own. This species is found near the bottom of rivers around the sand bars, gravel bars, and sand flats.

How long does a pallid sturgeon live?

A sturgeon’s lifespan varies depending on several factors. Pallid sturgeon lifespan can go up to 50 years old or slightly above.

How do they reproduce?

A pallid sturgeon reproduces upon reaching sexual maturity. This means that the fusion of sperms from male counterparts and eggs produced by the ovaries is needed and then the reproduction takes place.

What is their conservation status?

Pallid sturgeons are listed as Endangered now, as only 125 of them are said to remain in the Missouri River. Only a few of the species of pallid sturgeon are present in the Yellowstone River and Mississippi River as well.

The number of shovelnose sturgeon in areas like North Dakota has reduced rapidly as most of the habitat pallid sturgeon used has now been destroyed due to various manmade changes to the water flow.

The construction of man-made structures destroyed its spawning areas and affected its capacity to locate food sources.

Moreover, the changes caused to the water temperatures and other environmental aspects made the survival of pallid sturgeon difficult. As a result, fish and wildlife service departments in the US are running programs for their conservation.

Pallid Sturgeon Fun Facts

What do pallid sturgeons look like?

The pallid sturgeon's appearance is slightly different from ordinary fishes. A pallid sturgeon is a large fish with a dinosaur-like appearance and this suggests that this fish might be related to dinosaurs.

The fish has a flattened snout, a long slender tail, and they have bony plates instead of scales. The pallid sturgeon mouth is toothless and has barbels, which are sensory organs that work as nostrils. The two inner barbels of these fish are shorter than the outer barbels.

These fishes are grayish-white in color. The fishes are pretty large in size and they can be around 5-6 ft long.

The species pallid sturgeon is facing Endangered status.

How cute are they?

A pallid sturgeon is not a very cute species and has a dinosaur-like appearance. They do not look cute, rather they look a bit ugly and scary. However, its beautiful body makes it a fascinating creature.

How do they communicate?

Generally, all the fishes can hear and communicate. The fishes can communicate by vibrating their swim bladders. So, vibrations are the main source of their communication. All the fishes can't make sounds, but all the fishes can make vibrations.

How big is a pallid sturgeon?

A pallid sturgeon is a huge fish that is around 6 ft long and this fish is almost 10 times bigger than a standard goldfish.

How fast can a pallid sturgeon swim?

The swim speed of a pallid sturgeon is pretty impressive. A small pallid sturgeon can swim with a speed of 10-40 cm/s and a large juvenile pallid sturgeon can swim at a speed of 25-55 cm/s.

How much does a pallid sturgeon weigh?

A pallid sturgeon being a large fish weighs pretty heavy. A pallid sturgeon can weigh around 39 kg or 86 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no special male and female names for this species. They are simply referred to as male pallid sturgeon and female pallid sturgeon.

What would you call a baby pallid sturgeon?

The young baby fishes are referred to as fry.

What do they eat?

The pallid sturgeon is one of the most famous top predators. The pallid sturgeon eats the small fishes and other small aquatic insects in the river water.

Are they dangerous?

Pallid sturgeons are not very aggressive fishes, and they usually prey on small fishes and insects. These fishes are not as aggressive and dangerous as sharks. But yes, due to their bigger size, these fishes can still cause harm to humans Some of the sturgeon fishes can grow really long and those fishes can be dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

No. The first reason is that these fishes can't be kept as a pet because they are endangered. The second reason is that these fishes are very large and they require large running water bodies for their survival. So, keeping a pallid sturgeon is not practically possible.

Did you know...

The sturgeons are considered living dinosaurs. Scientists have discovered that these fishes existed 200 million years ago as well, so the dinosaur-like appearance of a pallid sturgeon comes as no surprise.

The population of the pallid sturgeon is endangered, and that’s why catching a pallid sturgeon is illegal now.

Whenever there is a change in the pressure, because of the low or high front in the water, or when the fishes move towards the depth, the bladder of these fishes may shrink or expand. So, they jump out of the water to get some air which helps them in maintaining their buoyancy.

The sturgeon fishes can also jump out of water when they wish to communicate with the other sturgeon fish.

A pallid sturgeon does not have scales on its skin. Instead, they have bony plates, which helps them in protecting themselves from the other predators.

There are many types of sturgeon fishes and almost all of them are pretty large in size. So, keeping them in a pond can be a bit difficult. Regarding the pallid sturgeon specifically, a pallid sturgeon is an endangered species, and these fishes can’t be kept as pets.

Why is the pallid sturgeon important?

A pallid sturgeon is important because every species has a role to play in the ecosystem and their extinction will create a disbalance in the ecosystem. Also, this species is an indicator of the quantity and quality of proper habitats in the rivers.

A pallid sturgeon is now an endangered species and there is an urgent need to conserve it.

Why is the pallid sturgeon endangered?

According to scientists, the main reason behind this is that the pallid sturgeon fishes are no longer able to reproduce in their natural habitat, and because of this the eggs are not able to become mature. This entire problem occurred because of the dams.

As the dams have altered the natural habitats of the fishes, they are no longer reproducing normally.

Another reason was that these species were being captured and killed in the fishnets, and later left behind in the river.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including milkfish, or longhorn cowfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Pallid Sturgeons coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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