CHARM Characteristics

Sturgeon (Caviar Fish) Appearance ・ Shape ・ Ecology

The name for sturgeon in Japanese (Chozame) resembles the word for shark (Same/Zame), but the sturgeon differs greatly from sharks in both physical characteristics and its niche in the environment.

Overall it resembles a shark and the shape of its scales resemble a butterfly, so it is named the butterfly shark ●Its characteristically long nose with a mouth underneath resembles a shark ●Under the nose are 4 whiskers which act as bait for finding crustaceans ●Unlike sharks, sturgeon have no teeth

Body Structure

  • It has a similar kidney to sea bream and flounder, so all waste is excreted outside the body.
    Because of this, the fish meat does not smell and has a light flavor.
  • It has a swim bladder - which Sharks do not have.

Physical Traits

  • Sturgeon is an osteichthyes (bony fish).
  • Its length is about 1 m, but some varities grow longer than 3 m.


  • It is related to a species of ancient fish that existed 300 million years ago:
    A fish in the same generation as the coelacanth​.
  • A fish that has a lifespan of many decades.
    Some sturgeon have lived up to 150 years.


  • Sturgeon inhabit rivers and are divided into those that live in lakes and those that live in the sea.

Ecology Characteristics

Spawn and hatch in the upper river

1Spawn and hatch in the upper riverSuch as the Volga River

Even when laying eggs, the parent does not die!
Like a sea turtle, it returns to the sea (lake)

Swimming Downstream

2Swimming Downstream

Growing in the sea (lake)

3Growing in the sea (lake)

  • Lifespan of over 70 years!
  • They are freshwater fish!
  • It can also live up to 150 years and grow to 5 m and 1.5 t
Swimming Upstream

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