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        Studying the Structure and Function of Salmon | Wild Alaska

        Salmon begin their life in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, and then return to fresh water to reproduce. This journey back requires a difficult upstream swim. Comparative anatomist Dr. Joy Reidenberg and Alaska teacher Joshua Jackson team up in the first video to observe the physical structures that support a salmon’s journey: its sharp teeth, hooked nose, fin, muscular tail, and bright coloration. In the second video, Dr. Reidenberg connects these physical structures to salmon functions, explaining how salmon use their fins, powerful muscles, and large tail to navigate and jump over obstacles in their journey upstream.

        Observing Salmon Structures

        Dr. Joy Reidenberg and Alaska teacher Joshua Jackson make observations of the physical features of a salmon. Features described include the salmon’s teeth, nose, fin, tail, color and musculature of the body.

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        Dr. Joy Reidenberg Explains Salmon Functions

        Studying a salmon’s anatomy can teach us about how it survives in its environment. Like all fish, salmon have fins for swimming, but unlike most fish, salmon have a powerful tail for its power source to swim upstream. Salmon also use their tails to make gravel nests, called redds, to lay the eggs.

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