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The salmon has a fusiform body, and well-developed teeth.All fins, save the adipose, are bordered with black. Before human influence, the natural breeding grounds of Atlantic salmon were rivers in Europe and the eastern coast of North America.The Atlantic salmon was given its scientific binomial name by zoologist and taxonomist Carl Linnaeus in 1758.The name, Salmo salar, derives from the Latin salmo, meaning salmon, and salar, meaning leaper, according to M. Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879) translates salar as a kind of trout from its use in the Idylls of the poet Ausonius (4th century CE).During their time at sea, they can sense the change in the Earth magnetic field through iron in their lateral line.When they have had a year of good growth, they will move to the sea surface currents that transport them back to their natal river.
Young salmon spend one to four years in their natal river. 15 centimetres (5.9 in)), they smoltify, changing camouflage from stream-adapted with large, gray spots to sea-adapted with shiny sides.
Fry and parr have been said to be territorial, but evidence showing them to guard territories is inconclusive.
While they may occasionally be aggressive towards each other, the social hierarchy is still unclear.
Later, the differently coloured smolts were found to be the same species.
Other names used to reference Atlantic salmon are: bay salmon, black salmon, caplin-scull salmon, Sebago salmon, silver salmon, fiddler, or outside salmon.
Juveniles start with tiny invertebrates, but as they mature, they may occasionally eat small fish.