Amazon river dolphin Facts

Amazon river dolphin Facts
Amazon river dolphin is one of the five species of river dolphins. These animals belong to the Cetacea family. Their closest relatives are whales and porpoises. Amazon river dolphins inhabit Amazon and Orinoco rivers that flow through Brazil, Peru, Columbia and Ecuador. Main threats to the survival of Amazon river dolphins are pollution of the water, by-catch (they end up trapped into the fishing nets) and boat accidents. People occasionally hunt them. Amazon river dolphin was listed as vulnerable species in the past (species that is facing uncertain future). Today, number of remaining Amazon river dolphins is unknown and they are listed as "data deficient" species.
Interesting Amazon river dolphin Facts:
Amazon river dolphins can reach 8 feet in length, but they are usually smaller. On average, Amazon river dolphins weigh between 180 and 220 pounds.
Amazon river dolphins can be pink, blue or albino (completely white due to lack of pigment) in color.
Amazon river dolphins have dorsal ridge instead of dorsal fin. Their flippers are shaped like paddles that move in a circular motion.
Amazon river dolphins have small eyes and poor eyesight because they live in murky waters (with low visibility).
Neck vertebrae of Amazon river dolphins are loosely connected. This feature allows rotation of neck for 180 degrees and it facilitates finding of prey.
Amazon river dolphins use echolocation for hunting. They release sound which travels through the water and bounces from the objects in front of them. Returning sound carries information about size, type and speed of the object (prey) in front of them.
Diet of Amazon river dolphins consists of fish, shrimps and crabs. They also eat piranhas and turtles. Amazon river dolphins are true carnivores (meat-eaters).
Amazon river dolphins can move from rivers to ponds and lakes during the rainy season (when rivers are flooded).
Despite being large in size, Amazon river dolphins have couple of natural enemies. Main predators of Amazon river dolphins are caimans, large snakes and jaguars.
Unlike other dolphin species, Amazon river dolphins are solitary during the most part of the year. Males and females live together when they are taking care of the offspring.
Amazon river dolphins communicate using different types of clicks and whistles.
Amazon river dolphins are very playful, curious and highly intelligent creatures. These animals are able to recognize potential threats associated with humans and learn to avoid them.
Pregnancy in females lasts 9 months and ends with one baby (calf). Baby is usually 30 inches long and weighs 22 pounds. Most babies are born from July to September.
Sexual maturity depends on the size of animal. Females become sexually mature when they reach 5.5 feet in length, while males become sexually mature when they reach length of 7 feet.
Amazon river dolphins can survive up to 30 years in the wild.

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