Q:

What are some facts about salmon?

A:

Quick Answer

There are several species of salmon within the order Salmoniformes, the majority of which inhabit the Pacific Ocean. Only one species lives in the Atlantic. Salmon are famous for their long migrations inland to lay their eggs. Unlike many fish, most salmon species can survive in both salt and freshwater.

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Full Answer

Salmon vary in size and weight, depending on the species, from the 20-inch long cherry salmon to certain specimens of the Chinook that can grow up to five feet long. Depending on species, salmon can weigh between four and 110 pounds and have lifespans between two and eight years.

Most species of salmon are born in inland freshwater bodies. They later travel to the sea, only returning to lay and fertilize more eggs. This is a journey that entails overcoming many obstacles, and many individuals die on the way. Female salmon lay their eggs in self-made depressions that they carve out with their tails. As one female can lay numerous eggs, she may create several depressions to accommodate all of them. The males fertilize the eggs, and the females then cover them up.

After birth, young salmon, called "fry," feed on insects, plankton and other small creatures. When they grow up ,many species graduate to shrimp, squid and fish.

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