Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sockeye Salmon

It can take a sockeye salmon up to seven years to become fully mature. The fish then makes the hazardous journey back to the river where it was born to breed, and then dies.

Existence is full of dangers for adolescent sockeyes. Initially, the eggs could be consumed by amphibian bugs and alternate creatures even before they hatch. These and different predators will go after the infants once they do incubate. As the toddlers develop, yet more predators take their toll, incorporating fish-consuming birds.All the aforementioned dangers and more are encountered even after the little fish compass the relative protection of the ocean, an adventure that takes one to
three years. Once in the sea, young sockeyes feed and grow rapidly.After a further one to three years, during which time they are preyed upon by animals such as seals, sea lions, and killer whales, the newly matured sockeyes begin the return journey to their home waters to breed.

Perilous Return
As they return home, they face more challenges and predation. Some lose their way and never make it back. The others must overcome strong currents, nets set out by fishermen, dams, and other obstacles; even the sharp teeth and claws of grizzly bears.
In spite of these hazards,millions make it back to the spawning grounds where they were born. Here, the males, which develop a hooklike kype (jaw),will compete to spawn with the females. Once the last eggs have been laid and fertilized, all the breeders will die. But nothing is wasted in nature, and many other animals will feed on the corpses and make the fats that their bodies need to survive the harsh winter ahead.


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