Surprise in the US: the corpse of a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon appeared on a beach

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The animal was found by a photographer who shared an image on his networks and commented that it measured almost a meter

Surprise in the US: the corpse of a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon washed up on a beach

Surprise in the US: a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon washed up on a beach in the east coast of the country (Credit: Facebook Allen Sklar)

A few weeks ago, the east coast of the United States had an unexpected visitor. It was an Atlantic sturgeon, an animal that has lived on Earth since the age of the dinosaurs and appeared on Assateague Island, between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The animal was discovered by fish photographer Allen Sklar, who shared a photo on his social media.

The endangered species has been found in the Atlantic Ocean since < b>Canada to Florida. However, the birth and the first moments of life of these animals are in freshwater rivers and they only start their route towards the sea when they get old, they explained from the National Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

These fish can live up to 60 years, exceed 4 meters in length and weigh about 400 kilograms. The one found on this occasion measured almost one meter.

Sturgeons belong to the Acipenseridae family and have existed for millions of years, precisely since the Cretaceous, for what they are one of the oldest fish species in the world. They are considered “living fossils” since the species has not changed over the years and remains practically the same as millions of years ago, a study from the University of Michigan indicated. That is why it is said that they look like prehistoric creatures.

Surprise in the US: the corpse of a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon washed up on a beach

Sturgeons are one of the oldest species of fish and almost they have not changed over the years (Grosbygroup)

NOAA warned, however, that the species is in danger of extinction given that fishing, The presence of ships and the degradation of their natural habitat along with man-made works such as dams, threaten their life in the ecosystem.

After the animal was found, Sklar shared an image on his social networks and joked that years ago he had already photographed another of these animals on those beaches. “Looks like I'm on a fish roll,” he wrote alongside the photo.

As reported by Assatague Island National Seashore on his Facebook profile, the photographer first encountered the fish in 2016.

Surprise in the US: the corpse of a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon washed up on a beach

Photo of the sturgeon found in 2016 (Facebook: Assateague Island National Seashore )

Also, he shared a series of curious facts about the species such as that, during the American civil war, a soldier “broke his leg by a ten-foot sturgeon that jumped out of his boat while rowing across the Potomac at Georgetown.”

He said, on the other hand, that “near Jamestown, teenagers from the Powhatan tribe had to ride the back of a sturgeon as part of the passage to adulthood”.

/b>hungry as they lie waiting to be seen. This is because instead of having scales, they have five rows of bony plates that are attached to their skin, which, in turn, are covered with small jagged scales. In this way, the bony plates -called scutes- act as armor on the fish and protect it from birds.

Surprise in the US: the carcass of a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon washed up on a beach

Its bony plates act as armor and protect it from birds ( Grosbygroup)

Many consume the meat of sturgeons although they are usually more famous for their roe, caviar. Their spawning still occurs in about 22 of the 38 rivers in the United States and Canada where this activity has historically occurred.

Surprise in the US: the corpse of a prehistoric Atlantic sturgeon appeared on a beach

Sturgeons are famous for their roe: caviar (EFE)

In fact, at present, the largest sturgeon population is found in the St. John in Canada, where an estimated 18,000 to 21,000 of them lived between 2013 and 2015, according to NOAA data.

Following, the York River In Virginia, the presence of the species was recorded, although in smaller numbers -about 75 adults that came close to spawning in 2013-. Since then, annual records have been kept even lower, with numbers between 52 and 219 per year, with a total adult population of approximately 300.

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