Sturgeon Fish Species Family Acipenseridae

Leaping Sturgeon Kills 5-Year-Old Florida Girl Boating With FamilySturgeon is the common name used for some 25 species of fish in the family Acipenseridae, including the genera Acipenser, Huso, Scaphirhynchus, and Pseudoscaphirhynchus. The term includes over 20 species commonly referred to as sturgeon and several closely related species that have distinct common names, notably sterlet, kaluga, and beluga.

Collectively, the family is also known as the true sturgeons. Sturgeon is sometimes used more exclusively to refer to the species in the two best-known genera, Acipenser, and Huso. Sturgeons have been referred to as "primitive fishes" because their morphological characters have remained relatively unchanged since the earliest fossil record.

Sturgeons are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. They are distinctive for their elongated bodies, lack of scales, and occasional great size: sturgeons ranging from 7–12 feet (2-3½ m) in length are common, and some species grow up to 18 feet (5.5 m). Most sturgeons are anadromous bottom-feeders, spawning upstream and feeding in river deltas and estuaries. While some are entirely freshwater, a very few venture into the open ocean beyond near coastal areas.

Several species of sturgeons are harvested for their roe, which is made into caviar — a luxury food which makes some sturgeons pound for pound the most valuable of all harvested fish. Because they are slow-growing and mature very late in life, they are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and to other threats, including pollution and habitat fragmentation. Most species of sturgeons are currently considered to be at risk of extinction, making them more critically endangered than any other group of species.

Leaping Sturgeon Kills 5-Year-Old Florida Girl Boating With Family - A 5-year-old girl was killed Thursday after a sturgeon leaped out of a northern Florida river and struck her while she was boating with her family, state wildlife officials said. Jaylon Rippy died after getting hit by the fish on the Suwannee River, south of Lake City, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement posted on the Suwannee Democrat Bulletin. Her mother, Tanya Faye Rippy, and 9-year-old brother, Trevor Rippy, were injured by the flying fish as well, the statement said.

Members of the family — from the town of Trenton, about 30 miles south of the river — were airlifted to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, officials added. A GoFundMe account set up for the Rippy family to cover funeral expenses and medical costs had raised more than $8,000 by Saturday night. The type of sturgeon in the Suwannee River are known for leaping and can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh 200 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Thursday's death was the first to be recorded from a sturgeon strike on the Suwannee River, although a teenager was knocked unconscious last month by one of the large, leaping fish while boating on the river. Three other people have been injured by sturgeon in Florida this year, state wildlife officials said.
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