Swimming alongside these beautiful and friendly dolphins in the Amazon jungle can be an unforgettable experience. Find out more about this species of dolphin that lives in the rivers of the Amazon.
Defining characteristics of the species
The pink dolphin is the world’s largest of the freshwater dolphin. It measures up to three meters in length and weighs about 125 kilos. Their color is variable: young people have a blackish gray back and a somewhat lighter belly, while adults have a pink coloration. One of its characteristics is the presence of a long, narrow beak and snout, slightly curved downwards, with around 134 small, sharp teeth. The head is bulging rounded, in the form of a ball, and its bill with a vent on the top. The posterior abnormalities are atrophied and there are only osseous remnants of the same inside the body. This species can move its head more than other dolphins, which gives it the necessary flexibility to maneuver among the numerous obstacles of the flooded forest.
These dolphins usually live in pairs or form small family groups of up to six individuals. It is active both day and night, and only resting for short periods of time. Pink river dolphins can remain submerged without breathing for 45 seconds before returning to the surface, pulling their heads and upper backs out of the water to get air. Their eyes are small and in the black and turbid waters their vision is limited. They orient themselves by means of a system of echolocation similar to that used by bats. It is an eminent carnivorous species that feeds on fish that can reach sizes of up to 30 cm. They also feed on invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs. Females give birth to only one calf, which stays with the mother until it is almost fully grown. The courtship and mating season begins in October, at the end of summer.
The pink dolphin has always been linked to mystery and legend. Despite its size and its relative abundance, the inhabitants of the great rivers of the Peruvian jungle do not hunt it, considering it an animal with special powers.
Where they roam
These dolphins often inhabit rivers of calm waters of lakes or lagoons, as well as in turbid waters of Amazon basin.
Cover photo: Flickr