Facts about Amazon River Dolphin, Scientific name for Amazon River Dolphin Inia geoffrensis". Amazon River Dolphins written by: tamarawilhite The formal name for Amazon River dolphins is Inia geoffrensis, though they are also called the pink river dolphin. Amazon River dolphins are the fresh water cousins to the sea-dwelling dolphins that most of us are familiar with. Amazon River dolphins are closer to the river dwelling ancestors of the sea-dwelling species that are more famous. While named for the Amazon river, they also live in the Orinoco river system.
Amazon River dolphins average six feet or (two meters) long, though the larger females can grow as large as eight feet (2.43 meters) long. This species is the largest freshwater cetacean.
Amazon River dolphins range from light pink to bright pink to a grayish-pink color. They can flush deeper pink and red when excited.
One difference between the Amazon River dolphin and its fresh water relatives is its ability to turn its neck from side to side. The Amazon River Dolphin can also paddle with their fins in opposite directions, increasing their maneuverability.
Amazon River dolphins are adapted to living in muddy water. They have hairs on the bottom of their snouts similar to those of catfish that are used to search for food on the bottom of the river. Amazon River dolphins eat fish and crustaceans. Amazon River dolphins have a long thin beak and between 24 and 34 conical teeth. This allows them to hunt for fish inside of hollow logs and underwater vegetation.
It is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Amazon River dolphins, but their exact numbers are unknown. The Amazon River dolphins are threatened by fishermen who used to respect them but now kill them as competition for fish, as well as the construction of dams that limit water flow and disrupt habitat. While the Amazon River Dolphin have almost no predators, they are often killed by boat propellers and pollution.
The Amazon River dolphin’s closest relative is the Araguaian river dolphin, which shares a common ancestry and diverged only after their river systems ceased to be connected. The Araguaian species has fewer rows of teeth than the Amazon River dolphin.