2 pectoral fins
near the head
2 pelvic fins on
1 anal fin behind
1 dorsal fin on the
centre of the back
(Plus 1 small, fatty
gillsA line of special
Now we have learned
about the anatomy of the
salmon...how do these
enable the salmon to
gills The salmon takes water into its mouth and
pushes it out through the gills. The blood
vessels in the gills extract oxygen dissolved in
the water as it is pushed out through the gills.
Allowing the salmon to breathe
The salmon uses its nostrils to smell scents in
the water, to sense danger and also recognise
the familiar sent of their home stream.
Allowing the salmon to smell and
helps with safety and navigation
Scales and skin cover the salmon. Scales
are small, hard plates which over-lap and
protect the salmon from predators and
The lateral line is a line of
cells along each side of the
salmon which is extremely
sensitive to pressure and
allow the salmon to sense
movements and objects in
Scales begin to grow when salmon are
very young and show annual growth
rings, like trees. If scales fall off, salmon
are able to grow new scales.
The 6 bony fins on the salmon aid
with the salmon’s balance and
The tail fin also helps the salmon
push through the water. Female
salmon use the tail fin to dig the
redd in which they lay their eggs.
Did You Know...
The small, fatty adipose fin is cut
off by the salmon farmers at the
River Bush fisheries in Bushmills
in order to identify their fish
from other Atlantic salmon.