What Do Pink River Dolphins Look Like?
Thousands of pink river dolphins swim throughout the South American Amazon and Orinoco river systems, but they remain elusive creatures. Photos of pink river dolphins aren’t as widely circulated as their ocean-dwelling relatives, making them even more mysterious. To learn about this species, Gondwana has compiled photos of pink river dolphins to explore their looks and personality.
River Dolphin Personality & Play
Regularly seen hamming it up for the cameras, pink river dolphins always appear to have a smile on their face. Their friendly, happy attitude allows them to make social connections with each other and with people. It’s this kind of relatable emotion that attracts humans to the river dolphin species. In this photo, a pink river dolphin is seen playing with a leaf. They do this to entertain themselves, and whoever else may be watching.
Social Structure & Pod Life
Though social creatures, pink river dolphins keep their friends and family closest. Unlike oceanic dolphins, who swim in pods up to 1,000 strong, pink river dolphins are more solitary creatures. Their pods range from around 2-15 dolphins, with smaller numbers being more common. Perhaps one reason for this difference is their habitat, as rivers provide less depth to travel than the expansive ocean. Nevertheless, pink river dolphins create strong bonds with the others in their pod. In this image, pink river dolphins are exchanging touch and a knowing look. It resembles a family photo, showing love and care for each other.
Pink River Dolphin Piscivore Diet
Despite what the photos above depict, pink river dolphins are certainly carnivores, or more specifically, piscivores. Eating largely fish and other aquatic animals, the energy used to maneuver their large bodies requires a lot of food. Up to 50 kinds of fish are part of the pink river dolphin diet, which can also include crabs and turtles. Waterfalls and shallower areas provide excellent feeding areas, where schools of fish can be easily seen. Because their pods are so small, it’s easy for these dolphins to hunt their prey without competition. In this feeding cycle, overfishing poses a great threat to the pink river dolphin diet. When the population of fish starts to decrease, the dolphins food source and livelihood becomes threatened.
River Dolphins in Captivity
Pink river dolphins are also at risk when they are kept in captivity. In their natural habitat, they can live up to 30 years old. However, captive dolphins average about 33 months when they are confined to a foreign environment. This, coupled with difficult training makes their lives stressful. Consider this photo of an amazon river dolphin giving a trainer a kiss. Though seemingly innocent, the life expectancy and habitat of captivity can’t compare to living in the wild.
Pink river dolphins look so different than the “normal” oceanic dolphins that they are often confused for other animals. However, their unique personalities, social structure and diet give them a charm that is totally their own.