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The flippers and the flukes (the tail fins) of the dolphin are triangular and have ragged hind edges. The male takes the initiative by nibbling the fins of the female, but reacts aggressively if the female is not receptive. The Amazon river dolphin is a seasonal breeder. (The other South American river dolphin is the Araguaian river dolphin (Inia araguaiaensis). In 2008, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) expressed concern for captured botos for use as bait in the Central Amazon, which is an emerging problem that has spread on a large scale. During the wet season the water level rises, allowing the Amazon River dolphin to disperse into smaller tributaries. 2.7 and 2.0 were observed along the banks. It uses echolocation to find prey in the often murky water. [1], Increasing pollution and gradual destruction of the Amazon rainforest add to the vulnerability of the species. Animals that have been observed hunting and/or eating these dolphins include anacondas, caimans and jaguars. River dolphins are rapidly disappearing and so are their natural river habitats. Myths say that whoever kills the amazon dolphin will have bad luck, but it's worse for whoever eats it. When they surface, the tips of the snout, melon and dorsal fins appear simultaneously, the tail rarely showing before diving. Similarly, the female becomes a beautiful, well-dressed, wealthy-looking and young woman. The Amazon river dolphin has occasionally been seen hunting cooperatively with other species, including the distantly-related tuxuti (Sotalia fluviatilis) and the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). There is significant segregation during the rainy season, with males occupying the river channels, while females and their offspring are located in flooded areas. [45] Increasing demand for the piracatinga has created a market for distribution of the Amazon river dolphin carcasses to be used as bait throughout these regions. [18][24] Due to the high level of prey fish, larger group-sizes are seen in large sections that are directly influenced by whitewater (such as main rivers and lakes, especially during low water season) than in smaller sections influenced by blackwater (such as channels and smaller tributaries). During the dry season, dolphins occupy the main river channels, and during the rainy season, they can move easily to smaller tributaries, to the forest, and to floodplains. Breathing takes place every 30 to 110 seconds. During the dry season, it stays in the main river channels. The only connection between the Orinoco and the Amazon is through the Casiquiare canal. Amazon River Dolphin Facts: Behavior. [32][33] One of these ecosystems is a floodplain, or a várzea forest, and is home to a large number of fish species which are an essential resource for human consumption. The strong bond between the mother and calf continues for an additional year or two. [6], Adult males have been observed carrying objects in their mouths such as branches or other floating vegetation, or balls of hardened clay. In a study conducted in the stretch of the Amazon called Solimões River, with a length of 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) between the cities of Manaus and Tabatinga, a total of 332 individuals was sighted ± 55 per inspection. The Amazon river dolphin is the largest freshwater cetacean (marine mammal such as whale, dolphin, and porpoise.). It is especially active during the early morning and late afternoon. [6], They are slow swimmers; they commonly travel at speeds of 1.5 to 3.2 kilometres per hour (0.93 to 1.99 mph) but have been recorded to swim at speeds up to 14 to 22 kilometres per hour (8.7 to 13.7 mph). [8], The diet of the Amazon river dolphin is the most diverse of the toothed whales. Males tend to be pinker than females due to more frequent trauma from intra-species aggression. Despite small eyes, the species seems to have good eyesight in and out of the water. River dolphins are a subgroup of dolphins that live in freshwater and brackish environments. [10], However, based on skull morphology in 1994, it was proposed that I. g. boliviensis was a different species. The dolphin's dentition allows it to access shells of river turtles and freshwater crabs. This subspecies is not recognized by the Committee on Taxonomy of the Society for Marine Mammalogy,[10] but is recognized by the IUCN. It has a long, thin snout, with 25 to 28 pairs of long and slender teeth to each side of both jaws. Typically, the dolphin feeds near the bottom. They occasionally jump out of the water, sometimes as high as a meter (3.14 ft). Unlike saltwater dolphins, whose vertebrae are fused (joined together), the bones of an Amazon river dolphin’s neck are separate. Flying Squirrels Facts: Meet The Gliding Rodents Of North America! [34][39][42] Scavenger species feed upon the carcasses, and the complexity of the river currents make it nearly impossible to locate all of the dead animals. [19], Life expectancy of the Amazon river dolphin in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, the longevity of healthy individuals has been recorded at between 10 and 30 years. Therefore, the Bolivian river dolphin is currently recognized as a subspecies. This would suggest that they fight aggressively over the females during the mating season. The Amazon river dolphin is located in most of the area's aquatic habitats, including; river basins, major courses of rivers, canals, river tributaries, lakes, and at the ends of rapids and waterfalls. [38][39][40][32][41][42][43][44] The local fishermen overfish and when the Amazon River dolphins remove the commercial catch from the nets and lines, it causes damages to the equipment and the capture, as well as generating ill will from the local fishermen. The Amazon river dolphin has three subspecies: You can see some amazing footage of Amazon river dolphins in the wild in the video below: The Amazon river dolphin has the widest distribution of any river dolphin. For each click produced a multitude of echoes are likely to return to the echolocating animal almost on top of each other which makes object discrimination difficult. Copyright © 2020 ActiveWild.com. The period of birthing coincides with the flood season, and this may provide an advantage because the females and their offspring remain in flooded areas longer than males. Amazon river dolphins use at least 10 distinct calls to communicate with each other. It has a melon on the head, the shape of which can be modified by muscular control when used for biosonar. However, increased human intervention on their habitat is expected to, in the future, be the most likely cause of the decline of its range and population. In traditional Amazon River folklore, at night, an Amazon river dolphin becomes a handsome young man who seduces girls, impregnates them, and then returns to the river in the morning to become a dolphin again. On the 7th night of visiting, she changes the man into a female - baby or male, and soon transfers it into his own wife's womb. Suggestions include diet, water temperature and injuries from fighting. The Amazon river dolphin feeds on up to 53 fish species from 19 different families. (It’s completely free, you can unsubscribe at any time, and we’ll never share your details.). A plausible explanation of the results is that object-carrying is aimed at females and is stimulated by the number of females in the group, while aggression is aimed at other adult males and is stimulated by object-carrying in the group. An Amazon River Dolphin is also often referred to as a Pink River Dolphin, a Boto or a Bufeo. A recent study has shown, despite the claim of the seller and the belief of the buyers, none of these fetishes is derived from the boto. By Nortondefeis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia CommonsThe long, thin snout curls slightly downwards. The Amazon river dolphin is mainly active during the day. 1250 24th Street, N.W. [2][3] The three subspecies are distributed in the Amazon basin, the upper Madeira River in Bolivia, and the Orinoco basin, respectively. Sexual dimorphism is very evident, with males measuring 16% longer and weighing 55% more than females. Associated with these legends is the use of various fetishes, such as dried eyeballs and genitalia. ", "Bolivia enacts law to protect Amazon pink dolphins", "Myths And Legends Of The Amazon's Pink River Dolphin", Convention on Migratory Species page on the Amazon Dolphin, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Amazon_river_dolphin&oldid=988390621, Taxa named by Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville, Articles lacking reliable references from June 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 12 November 2020, at 21:55. View our inclusive approach to conservation. The skull of the species is slightly asymmetrical compared to the other toothed whales. The Amazon river dolphin is seen as a competitor for diminished fish stocks and is often killed or injured when people try to chase them away.

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