AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN INFORMATION
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The Amazon River Dolphin is the largest species of river dolphin and inhabits in the Amazon river in South America.
The Amazon River Dolphin is a member of family Iniidae, the family of the toothed whales. It is scientifically named as Inia geoffrensis. The Amazon River Dolphins are known to have three recognized subspecies that are found in the waters of the Amazon basin, Madeira River in Bolivia, and the Orinoco basin.
Adult Amazon River Dolphin acquires a pink color; this pink color is more prominent in males. This dolphin is also named as Pink River Dolphin”.
BODY FEATURES, SIZE AND COLORS
This Largest river dolphin has large, robust and tough body.The head is irregular in shape and has a long snout. The eyes are small and eyesight is good.The dorsal fin is shorter,but long.The pectoral fins are large and long.The flukes are roughly triangular and broad.
The adult males weigh about 185 kilograms (408 lb). The length ranges about 2 m to 2.5 m (6.5 ft to 8.2 ft).
The Amazon river dolphins are pink in color.The males are predominantly pink. The color of the dorsal surface varies according the age and habitat of the dolphins. The Younger ones are grey in color, with age the color changes from grey to pink, mottled pink or light grey with pinkish hue.
AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN ADAPTATION
The long snout has 25 to 28 pairs of long and sharp teeth on either side of both jaws, shaped for catching and grabbing the prey as well as crushing the prey.
The cervical vertebrae are not fused. The large bodied Amazon River Dolphins can move flexibly and can bend the neck to more degrees and move neck in all direction.
The sounds made by these dolphins are different than other dolphins and help to communicate and navigate.
The paddles like pectoral fins help them to move easily to smaller tributaries, to the forest, and to floodplains.
Amazon River dolphins are found in a wider range. These dolphins the most widespread river dolphins and are found in South America; Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. These dolphins are also found in the basin of the Orinoco River. In the dry season they are located in the river beds, but in the rainy season, when the rivers overflow, they scatter to the flooded forests and the plains.
The Pink Dolphins live in rivers, canals, river tributaries, lakes, and at the ends waterfalls. The paddles like pectoral fins help them to move easily to smaller tributaries, to the forest, and to floodplains.
DIET AND HUNTING
The diet of the Pink River Dolphin is more diverse. The diet varies as per habitat and season.
These Pink dolphins, mostly eat crabs, catfish, small river fish and small turtles.
The dolphins are active the day and night and the dolphins hunt in coordination, by gathering and attacking fish at the same time and share the food. The different shaped teeth help them to eat crabs and turtles.
BEHAVIOUR AND COMMUNICATION
Pink dolphins are friendly and social animals. The dolphins are the most intelligent of other river dolphins.The brain has capacity 40% larger than that of humans.
The Amazon river dolphins commonly live solitary or in a pair, but may also occur in pods that rarely contain more than eight individuals. Strong social bonds occur between mother and child and The males tend to aggressive.
Like other dolphins, these dolphins also use echolocation for navigation. They make whistles and clicks for communication. The sounds made by these dolphins are different than other dolphins.
Mating is seasonal and births occur between May and June. This time of birth coincides with the flood season. The females and their calves remain in flooded areas longer than males and take advantage of more food for younger one to grow.
Gestation is about 11 months long and newborn calf is 80 cm long.The young ones stay with mother for two to three years and breastfeeding is longer for these dolphins.
THREATS AND CONSERVATION
The Dolphins are listed as Data Deficient on IUCN Red List.Water pollution, destruction of habitat due to deforestation of Amazon forests and increased human activities are major threats to the Amazon River Dolphin.
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