A Fish Outlived the Dinosaurs. Can It Outlast a Dam?
The pallid sturgeon is threatened because it can no longer travel far enough on the Missouri River to find a healthy place for its eggs to develop.
By Joanna Klein

What has no teeth, no rib cage, is covered in bony scales and managed to outlive the dinosaurs? The answer is the pallid sturgeon. But after millions of years of survival, only about 125 of these wild “dinosaur fish” remain. And if something isn’t done to save this endangered species, it could vanish forever — all because of what’s going on at a single dam in Montana.

Pallid sturgeon were once abundant along the Missouri River, which flows east from Montana and south until it empties into the Mississippi River in Missouri. They swam up it to spawn, and their fertilized eggs developed as they drifted down the river and through its tributaries. The larvae turned into fish that could grow up to six feet long, weigh up to 90 pounds and live about as long as the average human…