Sturgeon, which have been around for about 120 million years, are legendary. Which of these statements below are true? Which are false?

1. Sturgeons do not have teeth. They suck up their food like a vacuum cleaner.

2. During the Revolutionary War, an American soldier’s arm was broken when a sturgeon leapt out of the water and landed on him as he was rowing across the York River.

3. Speaking of leaping—schools of sturgeon were known to leap out of the water with such frequency that early settlers considered them navigational hazards in the Susquehanna and James rivers.

4. Native Americans, as a sign of bravery, were said to lasso a sturgeon and then hang on for dear life.

5. The leather from sturgeons’ skin has been used to make clothing and bind books.

For another sturgeon quiz, See “At the End of Their Line,” Bay Buddies, May 1999.


All of the statements are true except for #2. The truth: The officer’s leg was broken by a leaping sturgeon as he was rowing across the Potomac.