The Amazing Amazon River Dolphin – 10 Interesting Facts

The Amazon river dolphin is the largest freshwater cetacean (marine mammal such as whale, dolphin, and porpoise.). Known as “boto” or “bufeo” dolphin, it is found in the Amazon, Araguaia/Tocantins, and Orinoco river systems in South America.

“How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” — Psalm 104:24

Amazon River Dolphin

Interesting Facts About the Amazon River Dolphin

Being the biggest of the five species of freshwater dolphins in the world, the Amazon river dolphin has bulbous foreheads and long, skinny beaks.

When it is born, its color is gray and as it gets older it slowly turns pink. Behavior, diet, exposure to sunlight, and capillary placement are the major factors that decide its final color. It can be anywhere from mostly gray with some pink spots, to almost flamingo pink. Similar to blushing in humans, the Amazon river dolphin will turn pinker when it is excited or surprised. Occasionally, it is pale blue or albino half-white.

The Amazon river dolphin can grow up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) long and can weigh as much as 400 pounds (181 kilograms). It may live up to 30 years, and the males are usually 16 percent longer and 55 percent heavier than females.

The Amazon River Dolphin feeds on different species of fish such as tetras, croakers, catfish, and piranhas. River turtles and freshwater crabs also comprise a major part of its diet. It can turn its head 180 degrees, which enables it to navigate around rocks, tree trunks, and other obstacles found in murky river habitats. The Amazon river dolphin can swim forward with one flipper while paddling backward with the other and also can swim upside down.

The threat to this amazing animal comes from human activities. The Amazon river dolphin is hunted for catfish bait and it gets accidentally trapped in gill nets.

Let us thank God for this wonderful creature and support conservation efforts to protect this endangered animal from extinction.

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