Salmon family includes trout, whitefish, chars and graylings - together they form a family of ray-finned fish. Found throughout the northern hemisphere, the family includes species important to commercial and sport interests, which has resulted in their introduction to other waters of the world. Almost all species are anadromous: they live in the open ocean and swim up river to spawn in clean and cold freshwater. These are mostly large, predatory fish that reach lengths of up to two metres and prey on crustaceans, insects and smaller fish.
Scientific name: Salmonidae
The following habitats are found across the Salmon family distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
Salmonidae are a family of ray-finned fish, the only living family currently placed in the order Salmoniformes. It includes salmon, trout, chars, freshwater whitefishes and graylings. The Atlantic salmon and trout of genus Salmo give the family and order their names.
Salmonids have a relatively primitive appearance among the teleost fish, with the pelvic fins being placed far back, and an adipose fin towards the rear of the back. They are slender fish, with rounded scales and forked tails. Their mouths contain a single row of sharp teeth. Although the smallest species is just 13 centimetres (5.1 in) long as an adult, most are much larger, and the largest can reach 2 metres (6.6 ft).
All salmonids spawn in fresh water, but in many cases, the fish spend most of their lives at sea, returning to the rivers only to reproduce. This life cycle is described as anadromous. They are predators, feeding on small crustaceans, aquatic insects, and smaller fish.
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