Living: Caviar Emptor

Welcome A. transmontanus!

The sturgeon, one of the biggest, ugliest and most primitive of all fish, would be only an evolutionary oddity were it not for the million little black globules nestled in the average female's ovaries. If Mama is called Acipenser huso and comes from the Black Sea or the Caspian, her eggs may wind up in the U.S. as Iranian or Russian beluga caviar worth $200 a pound. The good news is that federal aid, abetted by academic enterprise, private initiative and a dash of Iron Curtain intrigue, may soon put this...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!