Sunday, March 03, 2013

Jewel # 132 (March 3, 2013)


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"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)
To my dear grandchildren 
Sturgeons Grow Big
"O Lord, how manifold are Thy works!  In wisdom hast Thou made them all: 
the earth is full of Thy riches." 
(Psalm 104:24)

Unlike the huge fish in South America's warm waters, sturgeons prefer the colder northern waters.  The best known common sturgeon is found mostly in European waters and along the North American coast from Labrador to the Gulf of Mexico.

Olive-green or bluish-gray in their top covering, they are not very attractive, but they are certainly unusual.  They range from 7 to 12 feet in length, and some species grow to 18 feet.  Twelve rows of bony knobs, looking like the teeth of a big saw, cover their bodies.  They also have armour of bony plates protecting their heads, which taper down to pointed snouts.  Beneath the long snouts they have small, toothless mouths with thick, sucking lips.  When feeding, they push their snouts into the mush of the ocean floor and suck fish, crabs and other shellfish into their mouths.

Only a few varieties become greater than 100 pounds, and some of these are the giants of the fish world.  The white sturgeon of the American Pacific Coast is usually found in freshwater rivers, such as the Fraser, the Columbia and the Sacramento.  The all-time-record catch weighed almost 2000 pounds and was 18 feet long!  However, that was some years ago.  Because of overfishing and pollution, it is unusual to find one weighing more than 1000 pounds now, but even that is twice as heavy as a large gorilla!  How would you like to have one of these huge fish on your fishing line?

In springtime the adults migrate  from the ocean into rivers.  The females, heavy with thousands of eggs, swim upstream until they find a place to deposit them.  These masses of eggs stick to rocks and plants until they hatch in about two weeks.  At the end of summer when the young fish have grown almost a foot long, they migrate downstream and out into the ocean.  Only a small number actually make it, since other fish eat many of the eggs as well as all the little fish they can catch.

There is always a good market for sturgeon meat, but even more so for the tasty eggs which are called caviar - a pound of which sells for as much as $800.  At that price most people cannot afford them, so they are served mostly in fancy restaurants or on the tables of the wealthy.

It was on the fifth day of creation that God formed the creatures of the sea - from the tiniest to the largest - and the sea creatures of today are just like those He placed in the waters thousands of years ago.

We can be confident that the world's interesting creatures didn't just happen to form themselves.  God created these creatures for our use and enjoyment.  He says, 

"Be ye glad and rejoice forever in that which I create" (Isaiah 65:18).

Love you all,
Grandpa

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