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The Mongol Empire, established by Genghis Khan in 1206, was the largest contiguous land empire in human history (read more)

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: Coffee

A cup of coffee.
Coffee is a beverage, usually served hot, prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. These seeds are almost always called coffee beans, even though they are technically not beans.

Coffee has significant impacts on the economy, has possible health benefits, is featured at many social functions, has important environmental implications depending on how it is grown, and it has been at the forefront of fair trade programs. Coffee ranks as one of the world's major commodity crops and is the major export product of some countries. In fact, coffee ranks second only to petroleum in terms of legally-traded products worldwide.

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