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Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) aka South Asian River Dolphin, Blind River Dolphin

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PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Cetacea
FAMILY: Platanistidae
GENUS: Platanista
SPECIES: gangetica

TOOTHED or TOOTHLESS (BALEEN): Toothed

FRESHWATER, SALTERWATER or BRACKISH: Freshwater

HABITAT: Indus river, Ganges River and its branches.

LENGTH (maximum): 7-8’3 Ft

WEIGHT (maximum): 185 lbs

RELATIVE SPECIES: Humpback Dolphin and other river dolphins

OTHER NAMES: Susu, Bhulan, South Asian River Dolphin

NEIGHBORING SPECIES: Irrawady Dolphin

PREDATORS: Humans

This species is classified as ENDANGERED by the IUCN's Red List.
This species is classified as ENDANGERED by the IUCN’s Red List.

THREATS: Hunting, accidental catch, pollution, ship strikes, habitat degradation, becoming trapped in river canals

DIET: Shrimp and small fish

MANNER OF FEEDING: Pairs of dolphins work together to forage in the river sediment. Long beaks for probing sediment.

BEHAVIOR: Swim on their sides, nodding their heads and using echolocation constantly. Very active, occasionally leap out of the water. Usually solitary, although they can be found in small groups. Make a sneezing noise when surfacing to breathe.

REPRODUCTION: Become sexually mature from 6-10 years old. Mothers give birth year round. Calving lasts for up to a year.

LIFE SPAN: 30 Years

COOL/GROSS/WEIRD:

  • Blind, but my be able to see light and determine direction. Extremely tiny eyes.
  • Highly endangered.
  • Indus and Ganges dolphins are subspecies.
  • Distinguishable external ears.

SOURCES:

  • Knopf, Alfred A. Guide to Marine Mammals of the World.Random House. 2002
  • http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/indusriverdolphin.htm

-TSF-

 
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