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Humans have given many nicknames to salmon. Chum salmon are often called “dogs” because of the large canine teeth they develop during spawning. They are also called “calicos” because of their bright spawning colors. Spawning pink males develop a large humped back and are called “humpies.”
The oldest verified fossil for a freshwater version of the salmon is 50 million years old. Five to six million years ago salmon had fangs, weighed 500 pounds, and were ten feet long. The modern anadromous Pacific salmon emerged about two million years ago in the cold mountain streams of the Pacific Northwest.