Semelparous

one more mile they said
a thunderous clamour – then
beat, beat, flatline


Pacific salmon and Canadian rapper Drake have something in common; they both live according to YOLO, or you only live once.  I study Pacific salmon and celebrities (though only the former professionally) so I thought this topic would be an excellent first post.

Pacific salmon are semelparous which means they only have a single opportunity to reproduce before death.

Once in a lifetime adult Pacific salmon migrate from the ocean to spawn in the freshwater rivers they were born in. No matter what, these fish need to get home, acquire a mate and have babies. Doesn’t matter if the river you are swimming in is warming, polluted or teeming with ravenous predators and fishing hooks. YOLO. Once the migration starts, senescence kicks in and fish start rapidly “aging” as vital organs shut down. All fish die at the end of the journey. No second chances.

Some salmon die en route to spawning grounds. Some of the salmon that make it to spawning grounds die before doing the deed.

Ultimately, no babies means no fitness for you. Without offspring your genetic material does not exist in the next generation, or the generation after that, and so on.

In contrast, Drake is iteroparous and has multiple opportunities to reproduce before death.

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