The Amazon pink river dolphin is a slow swimmer that is said to be less sociable in captivity than their cousins, the bottlenose dolphins. They are very playful in their natural habitat—the broad Amazon River—where it is said that they rub against fishermen’s boats, hold onto their oars with their mouths, and play with logs, sticks, clay, turtles, fish, and snakes. When male dolphins want to attract female dolphins, they carry branches or balls of hard clay in their mouths. The more male dolphins that are in the area, the bigger the branch or clay ball that is carried. Male dolphins often fight other males by biting their competitor’s pectoral and dorsal fins or their blowhole. These dolphins are threatened in a number of ways. The Amazon River seasonally overflows its banks and creates a floodplain, which attracts a large number of fishermen and commercial fisheries to the area. The fishermen are after the same types of fish that the dolphins like to eat, the pirapitinga

Coloration of Amazon River Dolphins

Amazon river dolphins are very colorful creatures. When young, they’re a uniform shade of grey and only start to turn pink as they age. Their final color depends on their diet, their gender (males will be pinker than females), and how much exposure to sunlight they’ve had. Their color can range from mostly grey, with just a fewpink spots, to a vibrant flamingo pink. Another interesting fact is that when these dolphins become excited, they flush a bright shadeof pink, just likehumans do when they blush!

and the tabaqui. The dolphins get caught in the nets that are used to catch the fish, and they thrash around in the nets until they die, or are killed by the fishermen who then cut them up and use them for bait to catch the fish that they really want. This happens all the time, even though the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources prohibits killing the pink river dolphins.

Chapter 1: Rare and Unique Species 13

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker