University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Skip to main content


On the U-M Gateway: Living fossils? Actually, sturgeon are evolutionary speedsters


( More )

A lake sturgeon from the Great Lakes.
Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant.

Efforts to restore sturgeon in the Great Lakes region have received a lot of attention in recent years, and many of the news stories note that the prehistoric-looking fish are "living fossils" virtually unchanged for millions of years.

But a new study by Professor Dan Rabosky and his colleagues reveals that in at least one measure of evolutionary change – changes in body size over time – sturgeon have been one of the fastest-evolving fish on the planet.