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Featured Article: Sturgeon

Sturgeon is the common name for any of the anadromous and freshwater fish comprising the family Acipenseridae of the Order Acipenseriformes of the Class Actinopterygii, characterized by an elongated body, largely cartilaginous skeleton, rows of bony scutes or plates on the body, four barbels in front of the mouth, and protrusible mouth. The term sturgeon sometimes is more exclusively to refer to the species in the two best-known genera, Acipenser and Huso; more generally, the Order Acipenseriformes, a group that also includes the paddlefishes (family Polyodontidae), is sometimes known as the sturgeon family.

Sturgeons are native to subtropical, temperate, and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America. Most sturgeons are anadromous bottom-feeders, spawning upstream and feeding in river deltas and estuaries. While some are entirely freshwater, very few venture into the open ocean beyond near coastal areas. Some species reach great size and age, including specimens over 18 feet (5.5 meters) in length and more than 100 years old.

Sturgeons provide important economic, ecological, and aesthetic values. However, because sturgeons mature late in life and have economically valuable eggs, they are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and to other threats, including pollution and habitat fragmentation. Most species of sturgeons are currently considered to be at risk of extinction, making them more critically endangered than any other group of species.

Popular Article: American Revolutionary War

The Spirit of '76 by A.M. Willard
The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was the military component of the American Revolution. It was fought primarily between Great Britain and revolutionaries within the 13 British colonies in North America who declared their independence with the Declaration of Independence as the United States of America early in the war. The war began largely as a colonial revolt against the mercantile and economic policies of the British Empire, and eventually widened far beyond British North America, with France, Spain, and the Netherlands entering the war against Great Britain. Additionally, many Native Americans in the United States fought on both sides of the conflict.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside and most of the population largely eluded them. French involvement proved decisive, with a naval battle for control of Chesapeake Bay leading to the surrender of a British army at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia in 1781. The Treaty of Paris in 1783 recognized the independence of the United States.