#FishInThePost: Atlantic Salmon

This week’s #FishInThePost question was, ‘In Welsh Folklore I am considered ‘the oldest and wisest of the animals’, which Welsh fish am I?’. The answer we were looking for was Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar), and it was correctly guessed by Vicky Stein (aka @AgentRedSquirrl on Twitter). Nice work, Vicky! Thank you for all your continued contributions to #FishInThePost! We look forward to posting you this Salmon in the mail! 

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Winning guess for this week’s #FishInThePost from Vicky Stein on Twitter. 

Salmon species (eight of them, as far as we could find) are commonly regarded as charasmatic species. This regard for Salmon is not surprising because these fish live across both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and naturally migrate into rivers in three continents when they are ready to reproduce. Salmon move and migrate long distances, depending on both marine and freshwater ecosystems to complete their life cycle. 

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Atlantic Salmon Life Cycle (source from Atlantic Salmon Federation)

The Atlantic Salmon ranges across Europe, northern Asia, as well as USA and Canada in North America, and has been introduced by humans to several other countries in South America and in Australia and New Zealand. In the United Kingdom and Europe, Atlantic Salmon are culturally important in diverse ways, and had a role in mythology. For example, in the Welsh tale, Culhwch and Olwen, the salmon are regarded as the oldest and wises of the animals, and are referredto as Salmon of Llyn Llyw. In the story, the salmon give the human characters a ride on their backs to find an imprisoned divine child. Given the conspicuous nature of Salmon, it is probably not too surprising that they have played a role in mythology, folk lore, and stories around the world, and are an important source of nutrients and protien for people across the world. 

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This week’s #FishInThePost species, Atlantic Salmon

Part of what makes Salmon conspicuous to humans is their incredible ability to leap out of water to clear cascades along with their incredible swimming speeds and abilities. The scientific name for Atlantic Salmon, salar, comes from the Latin word ‘salire’, which means ‘to leap’. Sea-dwelling adult Atlantic Salmon (like the one pictured above) are so fast while hunting, they are referred to as Tigers of the Sea. These ‘tigers’ can even dive to depths of 900 metres to feast on deep sea fauna.

Thanks again to Vicky! We look forward to next week’s #FishInThePost lead by Tara. It will be reely great! 

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