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Sturgeons and Paddlefishes: Acipenseriformes


Sturgeons find food by swimming close to the bottom and dragging their barbels along it. They eat slow-moving insects; worms; crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns), or animals with a soft, segmented body covered by a hard shell; and mollusks (MAH-lusks), or animals with a soft, unsegmented body usually covered by a shell. They also sometimes feed on other fishes. Paddlefishes feed by swimming through the water with their mouths open and filtering water through comblike structures called gill rakers. The gills are the organs used to get oxygen from water. Paddlefishes eat mainly crustaceans and insect larvae (LAR-vee), or insects in an early developmental stage, in plankton, or microscopic plants and animals drifting in water. They occasionally eat larger invertebrates (in-VER-teh-brehts), or animals without backbones, and other fishes.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesSturgeons and Paddlefishes: Acipenseriformes - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Sturgeons, Paddlefishes, And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT