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View of a sockeye salmons spawning in a river

View of a sockeye salmons spawning in a river

Z605/0249

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Credit

WILLIAM MULLINS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY WILLIAM MULLINS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sockeye salmon. View of a male sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) seen during the spawning phase. The bright red colour is only seen at spawning time. Sockeye salmons are found in the rivers of Alaska and Canada. They spend the first 2-3 years of their lives in the rivers in which they were born. They then migrate towards the Pacific Ocean where they stay for about 3 years. They then start the spawning migration, which brings them back to the same river which saw the beginning of their lives. They are able to recognise the scents of their home waters thanks to their highly developed olfactory sense. Most of them die exhausted shortly after spawning.

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