White Sturgeon – A square peg fish: WPC


I immediately thought of this picture I took of a white sturgeon when I saw that this week’s photo challenge at Traveling at Wits End was Something that Doesn’t Belong.

White Sturgeon & trout, High Desert Museum, Bend, Oregon 20February2018

In this photo, taken at the High Desert Museum, a young white sturgeon is surrounded by trout. It doesn’t quite fit in.

You might think this odd fish looks prehistoric and you’d be right. Sturgeon existed 200 million years ago, during the Jurassic period.

Though most sturgeon live 11-34 years, they have been known to live up to 104 years (!) They grow to an average length of 6.9 feet and sometimes grow to a length of 20 feet. The maximum weight recorded was 1,799 pounds. In fact, they are North America’s largest fish. So the fish in the picture may look small now, but it has a lot of growing to do!

Lewis and Clark Critter Quiz: Described or Discovered?

Lewis and Clark Critter Quiz -Bison at Yellowstone National Park, WY

Hmmm…a predominantly pink woodpecker named after a famous early American explorer and a wily relative of the crow named after his partner. That might make for an interesting bit of writing. I started to research the topic and decided to create a Lewis and Clark Critter Quiz.

Little did I know there was controversy linked to the plants and animals “discovered” on the Lewis and Clark expedition. The expedition supposedly discovered 178 plants and over 122 animals previously unknown to science. Or did they?

Other sources say they “encountered” or “reported” certain wildlife and plants. Due to discussions as to the accuracy of previously published lists, one recent list is divided into two sections: Discovered (for the first time by European Americans) and Described. Some of the flora and fauna species had been discovered in other parts of North America (or the world) prior to the time of the expedition while others had been a part of native people’s life for many years.

I am lucky to have seen many of the wildlife species that Lewis and Clark discovered and described. Many of these creatures live in and around Yellowstone National Park, which I have often visited. Here is a quiz that includes pictures of wildlife encountered on the expedition.

Did the Lewis & Clark expedition Discover them or Describe them? The answers are at the end of this quiz.

Sandhill Crane at Malheur NWR, OR
1. Sandhill crane, Grus canadensis
Lewis and Clark Critter Quiz - Clark's Nutcracker at Mt. Bachelor, OR
2. Clark’s nutcracker, Nucifraga columbiana
Bison in Yellowstone National Park, WY
3. American bison,  Bison bison
Channel Catfish by Siobhan Sullivan
4. Channel catfish,  Ictalurus punctatus
Lewis's Woodpecker in Bend, OR
Lewis’s Woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis
Red Fox at Yellowstone National Park, WY
6. Red fox,  Vulpes vulpes
Lewis and Clark Critter Quiz - Pronghorn at Yellowstone National Park, WY
7. Pronghorn,  Antilocapra americana
Mergansers Bend,OR
8. Common merganser, Mergus merganser

Here are the answers to the Lewis and Clark Critter Quiz:

  1. Sandhill crane – Described
  2. Clark’s nutcracker – Discovered
  3. Bison – Described
  4. Channel catfish – Discovered
  5. Lewis’s woodpecker – Discovered
  6. Red fox – Described
  7. Pronghorn – Discovered
  8. Common merganser – Described