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migration of animals

Introduction

migration of animals, movements of animals in large numbers from one place to another. In modern usage the term is usually restricted to regular, periodic movements of populations away from and back to their place of origin. A single round trip may take the entire lifetime of an individual, as with the Pacific salmon; or an individual may make the same trip repeatedly, as with many of the migratory birds and mammals. The animals may travel in groups along well-defined routes; or individuals may travel separately, congregating for breeding and then spreading out over a wide feeding area, as do some of the seals.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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