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Spawning of Salmon Stops the Heart

JAPAN - Researchers here have confirmed an unusual phenomenon first observed in spawning salmon 25 years ago.

According to Asahi, The hearts of male and female salmon actually stop beating at the climactic moment in which they lay and fertilize their eggs.

Hokkaido researchers confirmed it with data from 14 chum salmon at the Shibetsu Salmon Museum in Shibetsu, near here in eastern Hokkaido.

In an experiment last November, the heartbeats of spawning salmon halted for six to seven seconds while the female released eggs and the male fertilized them.

The phenomenon was first reported in a 1983 article, but that data was from only one pair of salmon.

The latest research from several pairs confirmed the action as a physiological response common to chum salmon, the researchers say. It will be released at a U.S. symposium in September.

View the Asahi story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy

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