Swimming Dinosaur Spotted in SF Bay

White sturgeon known as "living fossil"

By Jessica Greene
|  Sunday, Mar 22, 2009  |  Updated 4:16 AM EDT
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Huge Fish Spotted in Bay

NBC Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay's own Loch Ness Monster?

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Huge Fish Spotted in Bay

Our chopper spotted this massive marine wonder swimming in the south end of San Francisco Bay.
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"Wow! Look at that!"

That's what the NBC Bay Area chopper pilot exclaimed when he spotted a colossal creature swimming through the south end of the San Francisco Bay this week.

The massive marine wonder slinking through the bay was a white sturgeon and we estimate it to be about 9 feet long.

Sturgeon are the largest freshwater fish in North America. They live in salt water but travel to fresh water to breed.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium calls the fish a "living fossil" and says they are one of the most popular and asked about fish among their exhibits. The marvelous giant has been around since the days of dinosaurs and even resembles one with its row of bony bumps protruding from its back. 

Sturgeon can reach 13 feet or more and live to be over 100 years old. The biggest one on record weighed 1,500 pounds!

Their eggs are a popular delicacy. Ever hear of caviar? The meat of the sturgeon is also popular. It's very mild, thick and flaky and could be compared to halibut -- another tasty bottom-feeder.  But the Monterey Bay Aquarium recommends farmed sturgeon over wild-caught.

Jessica Greene thinks this monsterous fish could swallow her in one gulp.

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