Scaphirhynchus is a genus of freshwater fish of the sturgeon family. Length 60-90 cm, rarely 1.3 m, mass 2-3 kg, sometimes up to 4 kg. The tail stem is long and covered with bony plates. The snout is broad, uplifted, shovel-shaped. Includes two genera inhabiting fresh waters of North America: Scaphirhynchus platorynchus, inhabiting the Mississippi River and Scaphirhynchus albus, inhabiting mainly the lower Missouri River. Bentophagous.
Snout broad, strongly flattened, shovel-shaped. There is no spatula. The gill membranes are attached to the gill interspace and do not form a fold. The caudal peduncle is long and completely covered with bony plates. The closely related and outwardly resembling shovelnose sturgeon genus Pseudoscaphirhynchus inhabits the rivers of the Aral Sea basin.
The first species, S. platorhynchus, is up to 90 cm long; spawns in April-June in tributaries with stony ground. It feeds mainly on insect larvae. Target of fishery. The second species - S. albus - length up to 1 m; more rare, so it has no commercial value.