03 February 2010

Pink Elephants? No! Pink Dolphins

The Pink Dolphin (also known as "botos") is a friendly animal whose only enemy is human. They live in the rivers of the Amazon. Their brain capacity is more than 40% greater than humans, but they still get hurt and killed by them and are now an endangered species because of this. Their pink color comes from the water it lives in, the food it eats and capillaries close to the surface of the skin. The rain forests where the Pink Dolphins live are endangered because of human destruction and chemical dumping in rivers. Pink Dolphins are also caught in fishing nets. To try and help stop the decline in their numbers, many captive breeding programs have been started.

The dolphins have a long beak to get prey and small eyes which help them see well in the water. Pink Dolphins can swim at a speed of up to 20 mph. They have very little to protect themselves. They might use their flippers (also used for mating) and their long beaks. Their best protection is staying in a pod or group. When in danger, the dolphins can make squeaking sounds to call to it's pod. Pink Dolphins eat large quantities of food every day. Not liking to eat alone, they'll make a loud sound to call the rest of their pod. They enjoy crustaceans, catfish and small water fish. At night, they search for zooplankton.

The dolphins are similar to grey dolphins but have some differences. It doesn't have a dorsal fin. Instead it has a hump on it's back. The Pink Dolphin's tail is bigger and it has two flippers that look like leaves. The neck is long and there is a little hump in the forehead and it has the ability to turn it's head 180 degrees.