Sturgeons: Ancient Fish of Significance

scientists discover fossil of africa s 1st sturgeon in morocco 800x422
Sturgeons: Ancient Fish Species

Sturgeons: Ancient Fish Species


Sturgeons, a group of fish belonging to the family Acipenseridae, are commonly known and valued for their meat and roe, which is popularly enjoyed as caviar. However, due to overfishing and habitat loss, many sturgeon species are now critically endangered, with some teetering on the brink of extinction in the wild.

Living Fossils

Sturgeons are classified as living fossils, with ancestors dating back over 200 million years, coexisting with dinosaurs. They have the potential to grow up to 7 meters in length and weigh up to 1.5 tons, although such sizes are extremely rare today.

Discovery of Sturgeon Fossil in Morocco

In a recent breakthrough, the remains of a sturgeon species were unearthed in central Morocco, specifically in the uppermost Cretaceous marine phosphatites. This finding is significant as it marks the first sturgeon fossil found on the African continent, suggesting that sturgeons were once more geographically widespread than previously known.

Implications and Challenges

Sturgeon fossils have been found in regions such as North America, Europe, and various parts of Asia, but never in South America, Australia, Africa, or India. The new finding challenges previous models regarding the distribution of sturgeon populations and their origins.


The discovery of this sturgeon fossil in Africa sheds light on the ancient history and geographic range of these fascinating and endangered fish species. Efforts must be made to protect and conserve sturgeons to ensure their survival for future generations.

image 11862 2e Cretaceous Sturgeon Scute (1)

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