Saturday, September 11, 2010

River Dolphins

Second day of Raya, and I'm here pathetically writing something to cool myself off some problem earlier.

Yes we do have dolphins in rivers and lakes across the world. There are several species of river dolphin, normally named after the waterway in which they're dwelling in. They are different from their ocean cousin; they have smaller eyes, because even large eyes wouldn't get you anywhere in the murky water.

And they have flexible neck, which is unique to river dolphins. This gives them much greater manoeuvrability in the flooded forest and enables them to enter and swim amongst the roots and branches hunting and catching the fish that feed from seeds and berries.

River dolphins aren't grey or dark like ocean dolphins, instead they are pinkish and white, sometimes brownish, and they look retarded. XD But the fact is they are equally smart~ using echolocation to locate prey and manoeuvre their way in the river.

Ganges/Indus River Dolphin

Indus River Dolphin is a sub-species of freshwater or river dolphins found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Indus River Dolphin is found in the Indus river in Pakistan and its Beas and Sutlej tributaries. They have the long, pointed noses characteristic of all river dolphins. The teeth are visible in both the upper and lower jaws even when the mouth is closed. The species has only a small triangular lump in the place of a dorsal fin. The flippers and tail are thin and large in relation to the body size.

Yangtze Finless Porpoise

The Yangtze finless porpoise is a smaller, fresh water population now reduced to about 2000 and found only in the Yangtze River and several large lakes of China. The Finless Porpoise almost completely lacks a dorsal fin. Instead there is a low ridge covered in thick denticulated skin.

Bolivian Dolphin

The Bolivian river dolphin comes equipped with a flexible body that allows it to make its way through the tree roots of flooded forests. This species is announced as a new species in 2008, and so there is little known about this species. This baby was rescued in the summer of 2010 in the Pailas River, a tributary of the Rio Grande, when drought led to lower-than-usual water levels.

Tucuxi River Dolphin

Tucuxi look like bottlenose dolphins but have longer noses and broader flippers. The species is found throughout the Amazon region, with the exception of Bolivia. The snout is rather short and the dorsal fin is slightly triangular. A pink coloration is sometimes seen on the lower jaw, and the throat level. There are 26 to 35 teeth on each side of the lower and upper jaw.

Irrawaddy River Dolphin

Irrawaddy dolphins are similar to the Beluga in appearance, though most closely related to the Orca. They have a large melon and a blunt, rounded head, and the beak is indistinct.

The dorsal fin, located about two-thirds posterior along the back, is short, blunt and triangular. The flippers are long and broad. It is lightly coloured all over, but slightly more white on the underside than the back. Adult weight exceeds 130 kg (287 lb) and length is 2.3 m (8 ft) m at full maturity. Maximum recorded length is 2.75 m (9 ft) of a male from Thailand.

Amazon River Dolphin(Boto)

The largest of the river dolphins, this species is not to be confused with the Tucuxi, whose range overlaps that of the Amazon River Dolphin but is not a true river dolphin. Because they are unfused, the neck vertebrae of the Amazon river dolphin are able to turn 180 degrees.

In a traditional Amazon River folklore, at night an Amazon river dolphin becomes a handsome young man who seduces girls, impregnates them, then returns to the river in the morning to become an Amazon river dolphin again. It has been suggested that the myth arose partly because dolphin genitalia bear a resemblance to those of humans.

In the area, there are tales that it is bad luck to kill an Amazon river dolphin. Legend also states that if a person makes eye contact with an Amazon river dolphin, that person will have nightmares for the rest of his/her life. Local legends also state that the dolphin is the guardian of the Amazonian manatee and that should one wish to find an Amazonian manatee one must first make peace with the Amazon river dolphin.

The species is widely distributed along the Orinoco and Amazon River Basins, in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, etc.

Yangtze River Dolphin

A traditional Chinese story describes the Baiji as the reincarnation of a princess who had been drowned by her family after refusing to marry a man she did not love. Regarded as a symbol of peace and prosperity, the dolphin was nicknamed the "Goddess of the Yangtze."

The Baiji population declined drastically in recent decades as China industrialized and made heavy use of the river for fishing, transportation, and hydroelectricity. Efforts were made to conserve the species, but a late 2006 expedition failed to find any Baiji in the river. Organizers declared the Baiji "functionally extinct", which would make it the first aquatic mammal species to become extinct since the demise of the Japanese Sea Lion and the Caribbean Monk Seal in the 1950s.

It's a sad thing to see one of the most intelligent animals on the planet went the way of the dodo bird. Almost all river dolphins are declining in number now, due to pollution of their waterways, and fishing. Entanglement in fishing net is not uncommon. The disposal of toxic chemicals by factories along rivers is causing the demise of the animal.

The Goddess of Yangtze River has gone, who's next?




  1. yo buddy, pergi la mana2 open house

  2. takde mana mana open house pun.... sedih gile korang beraya aku sorang kat rumah ber-blogging

  3. well..not everyone enjoy the raya.. ada conflict sikit. Its like, almost everyyear la ada conflict. Maybe aku sensetive sangat, but a man has his ego. haha. Fine, later kalau ada raya marathon kiteorang ajak

  4. "and they look retarded" lol. poor things. not really la...
    but the amazon river dolphin is one seriously ugly dolphin.

  5. Thank you for blogging about these dolphins. Many people do not know anything about them - their diversity, and their precarious survival due to pollution and overpopulation. I appreciate your blog!
    Julianna Verboort



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