Can Salmon Live in Both Fresh and Salt Water?

How is it possible for a salmon to live in both Fresh and Salt Water?

A common question asked among people is how do salmon live part of their life in Fresh Water and part of their life in Salt Water? Salmon are amadromous, meaning that they live in both Fresh and Salt water. Salmon are a species that have been around for a very long time, millions of years. They have evolved throughout these years and their bodies have adjusted to these changes, making it possible for them to change from Fresh Water to Salt Water.
A salmon lives in lots of different environments during its whole lifetime. They are born in a river or stream (Fresh Water, some require a lake). They then make their trip towards the ocean (Salt Water) where they live for most of their life growing, eating, and preparing. Then, they stop eating and travel back to where they are born into Fresh Water. There they lay their eggs and soon afterwards, they die.

Scientists believe that a long time ago, the chromosomes in the fish’s cell doubled. This double in the chromosomes allows the salmon more diversity and adaptability. They believe that this extra genetic material salmon gained may be why they are able to live in both Fresh and Salt water.

During their change from Salt Water to Fresh Water, the salmon do also experience some changes to their bodies. Some changes that happen to male salmon is: a hump in their back, and a hooked nose. Also for both males and females, the head turns green and the rest of their body turns red.

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2 Responses to “Can Salmon Live in Both Fresh and Salt Water?”
  1. Mac Girl Says...

    On June 27, 2009 at 1:57 am

    This was very informative and I learned the things that I needed to.

  2. Paul Says...

    On February 20, 2010 at 12:16 am

    What about the biology? The membranes of their cells? The phospholipid bilayer and how it changes to accommodate the different environment types? I’m guessing that it is because of the hydrophilic heads of these phospholipids. This unique quality allows the membranes of the cells to interact and adapt to the environment. Would this be true?

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