The Sturgeon, pp.241-242.

[Three Hundred Animals Contents]

   SOMETIMES grows to the length of eighteen feet, and has been found to weigh five hundred pounds. It has along slender pointed nose, small eyes, and a small mouth, destitute of teeth, placed beneath and unsupported by the maxillæ; so that when the animal is dead the mouth remains always open. The body is covered with five rows of large bony tubercles, and the under side is flat; he has one dorsal fin, two pectoral, two ventral, and one anal. The upper part of the body is of a dirty olive colour, and the under part silvery. The tail is bifurcated, the upper part being much longer than the under one. The Sturgeons subsist principally on insects and marine plants, which they find at the bottom of the water, where they mostly resort. They are very harmless and timorous, and abide in flocks together. They are found in every country of Europe at different seasons in the year. They annually ascend the largest rivers in winter, in order to spawn, and produce their young in prodigious numbers. They are also found in North America. The flesh of the Sturgeon is highly esteemed, particularly in England, where it is often pickled, and is then accounted a delicacy. The eggs, made up in a huge mass, salted and put up into barrels, are sold among the Turks, Greeks, and Venetians, under the name of caviary. They are taken in nets, and seldom with hooks. 

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