The Beluga Sturgeon, the world's largest bony fish, received its name from the Russian word "belaya," which means white. This type of sturgeon evolved about 200 million years ago and today is sadly at risk of total extinction due to man's intervention, unchecked fishing practices, pollution and changes in the Caspian Sea due to climate change.
The Beluga Sturgeon doesn't have any natural predators due to its large size and armored appearance, especially its head, which gives it a fearsome appearance. An adult beluga sturgeon can weigh up to 3,500 pounds and measure up to 20 feet in length! Even so, it is very shy and will swim away from humans quickly, especially if it feels threatened.
Beluga Sturgeon feed off other species of fish, including flounder, anchovies and other similar species available at the middle depths of its habitat. Given its extreme risk of extinction, the governments of Russia and other countries surrounding the Caspian and Black Seas have granted it certain protections, but it is still hunted viciously and has completely disappeared from certain parts of the area while continuing to the decline in others where it can still be found.
Left alone in its natural habitat, the beluga sturgeon can live up to 50 years and, in some cases, up to a century. Unfortunately, only a few reach old age because they are hunted and killed for food and their eggs long before they complete their life cycle.