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Olfactory sense pinpoints spawning river: Atlantic salmon


Sockeye Salmon (Spawning Male) / Alan D. Wils.. / LicenseCC-by-sa - Attribution Share Alike

Salmon identify a specific spawning river using their keen olfactory sense.

"The salmon's extraordinary ability to locate the river where it was born is due to its highly developed olfactory sense, which enables it to distinguish between different rivers by scent." (Shuker 2001:76)
About the inspiring organism
Salmo salar Linnaeus, 1758
Common names: Atlantic salmon, Bay salmon, Black salmon, Breeder, Caplin-scull salmon, Common Atlantic salmon, Fiddler, Grayling, Grilse, Grilt, Kelt, Kippered salmon, Landlocked salmon, N. Atlantic salmon, Ouananiche, Ouinanish, Outside salmon, Parr, Salmon peel, Sea

Habitat(s): Marine Coastal/Supratidal, Marine Neritic, Marine Oceanic, Wetlands
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: FishBase
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_LC IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: In-stream sensors to monitor stream health.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Sensors, stream monitoring devices

Shuker, KPN. 2001. The Hidden Powers of Animals: Uncovering the Secrets of Nature. London: Marshall Editions Ltd. 240 p.
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