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River Dolphin

River Dolphin Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCetacea
FamilyPlatanistoidea
GenusPlatanistidae
Scientific NamePlatanistoidea
TypeMammal
DietCarnivore
Size2-2.5m (72-98in)
Weight100-200kg (220-440lbs)
Top Speed30km/h (18mph)
Life Span12-18 years
LifestyleSchool
Conservation StatusEndangered
ColourGrey, Pink
Skin TypeSmooth
Favourite FoodFish
HabitatLarge tropical rivers and estuaries
Average Litter Size1
Main PreyFish, Prawns, Frogs
PredatorsHuman
Special FeaturesLong, narrow beak and flexible neck

River Dolphin Location

Map of River Dolphin Locations

River Dolphin

There are only four species of river dolphin still existing in river, lakes and estuaries in certain parts of the tropical Southern Hemisphere. River dolphins are also known as freshwater dolphins with one species however inhabiting saltwater estuaries known as the La Plata dolphin.

The Amazon river dolphin (Boto or Pink river dolphin) is found in the Amazon river and the joining rivers, with the Amazon river dolphin being the largest species of freshwater dolphin. The Amazon river dolphin feeds on crabs, fish and catfish and is rarely hunted by animals other than humans.

The Ganges river dolphin (Indus River Dolphin) is found in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Ganges river dolphin is primarily found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers and their joining rivers in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Ganges river dolphin has long teeth that can be seen even when the dolphins mouth is closed.

The Chinese river dolphin (Baiji) was once found only in the Yangtze River in China but sadly said to have become extinct in 2006.

Some river dolphins are thought to be blind, but other river dolphins still possess incredibly poor eye sight and many are therefore killed when accidentally coming into content with fishing boats and nets. Like other species of dolphin, the river dolphins hunt and communicate using echolocation, a process which involves the detection of low frequency waves that are emitted by all the living things.

River dolphins are mainly found in darker, slow-moving waters but are known to venture into grasslands and underwater forests during the flood seasons. It is now, when the water is at the highest level that the baby river dolphins are born underwater.

River dolphins have a long, narrow beak and flexible neck which helps them to catch prey quickly and enables the river dolphins to turn quickly and more easily in the water. River dolphins are normally found on their own or in pairs but large groups of river dolphins will often come together to feed.