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Sturgeons and Paddlefishes: Acipenseriformes

Sturgeons, Paddlefishes, And People

Sturgeons are valued for caviar (KA-vee-ahr), which is salted, unfertilized eggs eaten as a delicacy. The smoked meat of sturgeons also is highly valued.


Sturgeons have been valued for their caviar, the unfertilized eggs of the female, since the times of the ancient Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. The Chinese began trading caviar during the tenth century. Caviar became popular as a luxury food in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In the early nineteenth century the United States was the largest producer of caviar. Caviar from beluga sturgeons is considered the best, and these sturgeons have become an endangered species because of the great demand for them.

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