The species of sturgeon has more than a dozen representatives. However, one of the most amazing is the fish spike. After all, if you believe the research of scientists, then this marine creature appeared due to the union of other species. So, in the gene pool of the thorn traces of sturgeon, beluga, and stellate sturgeon are traced.
So let's plunge into the amazing world of nature and talk about what other secrets are hidden by a fish spike. We learn how it looks, where it lives and what it feeds on. And also try to understand why she was on the verge of extinction today.
Fish spike: description
Adult individuals can reach two meters in length. But most representatives of this species are much smaller. The body itself is oblong, with pronounced, conical spines on the back. Strictly speaking, it was thanks to them that this fish got its name.
The spike is markedly different from its closest relatives. For example, unlike other representatives of sturgeon fishes, it has fimbriated tendrils attached to the lower lip. This spiny physiological feature was obtained from its ancestors, who had common roots with sterlet.
As for the color range, it ranges from light gray to greenish hue. But the belly of the fish is light, almost white in color. In addition, the spine is covered with star-shaped scales that can easily be seen along the entire body.
So, where does the spike live? Fish feels equally good both in salty and fresh water. Therefore, its range extends for many kilometers, which is incredibly surprising to many scientists.
So, representatives of this species can be found in the Caspian, Aral, Azov and Black Sea, as well as in the basins of those rivers that adjoin these water bodies. In particular, large populations of spines are found in the Urals, Kura and Sefidrud.
Thorn - fish long-liver
The life path of this fish begins in fresh waters. Therefore, with the advent of spring, adults begin to migrate upstream to reach their spawning grounds. Here they lay eggs, then return back to the sea.
Soon from the eggs appear fry. It should be noted that young animals are not in a hurry to leave their native waters. A year will pass, and only then they will go to the salt water, incidentally gaining strength for life on the high seas. Many spines will live for a long time at the mouth of the river, since it is not easy to cross the last line for them.
As for the life cycle, the spike is a long-lived fish. On average, representatives of this species live on the order of 20-22 years. However, science knows cases when these fish survived to thirty years, which is a good indicator for the inhabitants of the underwater kingdom.
Many consider the spike to be an unwieldy fish, but this is not entirely true. In truth, this being simply does not like to do unnecessary movements and because of this prefers to lead a quiet lifestyle. However, this does not mean that the spike is quiet and harmless. For example, on hunting, he reacts incredibly quickly, without giving the victim the slightest chance of escaping.
Sheep - fish, listed in the Red Book of Russia. It so happened that at the beginning of the 20th century its catch was allowed, which greatly reduced the population of this species. So, by 1980, its numbers declined by almost 80%, which worried scientists and conservationists. Therefore, in 1983, a special decree was issued, according to which the spike was included in the Red Book. Alas, these measures failed to correct the current state of affairs.
Even today the fish thorn is on the verge of extinction. The blame for everything is that the spike reaches sexual maturity only by the twelfth year of his life. And because of this, many individuals die much earlier than the first offspring will be able to produce.