Dolphins are one of the adorable and cute water animals. It gives immense happiness to see dolphins play naughty in the water. Ah! That’s an amazing moment to play with dolphins. But irony is that such cute animals are reducing day by day. Amazon River dolphin is one of the critically endangered dolphin species.
Amazon River Dolphins are found in Amazon and Orinoco river basin. According to records it was found in 1817. Inia geoffrensis is its binomial name and is often called as Boto Dolphin.
On an average their length varies from 6.5ft to 8.5ft and weighs about 150 kg to 180kg. They have a very long beak with about 140 sharp molar like teeth. This structure helps them to catch and chew their pray easily. One unique feature of Amazon River dolphin is that it can rotate its neck sideways, unlike other dolphins. And it is very flexible in spite of its heavy weight.
Amazon River Dolphins are physically diverse than other dolphins. They appear in shades of pink. The brightness of the skin may vary depending on the water colour. The sun rays also accounts for colour variance. These dolphins may appear dark pink when excited.
They don’t swim but have very easy movements. They have paddle-like structure which moves in circular pattern and provides extraordinary manoeuvrability.
As the name itself suggests, these species are found in Amazon and Orinoco river basin. Specifically found in Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Guyana and Bolivia. These habitats are usually surrounded by trees.
Amazon River dolphins can adjust to any water types be it a river, a channel, pond or sea. It can adapt itself to these conditions unless and until the water is warm and has plenty of its food available.
Their major dinning is fish. They consume around 50 types of fishes. And sometimes when they are not satisfied, they feed upon crabs and turtles too. They daily consume nearly 2.5% of their totally body weight as food.
The preying usually happens early in the morning. They usually move around alone than in groups since there are only a few of them remaining.
The mating ages for male and female are different. Females are ready to mate between 6 to 11 years. And for males, it is 7 to 12 years. The gestation period is about 11 months. It is mostly in the month of June that they give birth. They have an average lifespan of 30 years.
The human activities are the main reason for the cut down in a number of Amazon River dolphin species. Their habitats are dirtied. The waters are pollutant making it hard for their survival. It is directly affecting their food i.e. killing the fishes available. And thus, lack of availability of food is posing a challenge for its survival.
Well, nowadays there are strict laws followed in Brazil and Bolivia for the conservation of Amazon River dolphins. And they are the main tourist attractions too.