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Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) aka Snubfin Dolphin

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PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Cetacea
FAMILY: Delphinidae
GENUS: Orcaella
SPECIES: brevirostris

TOOTHED or TOOTHLESS (BALEEN): Toothed

FRESHWATER, SALTERWATER or BRACKISH: Saltwater, brakish or freshwater

HABITAT: Rivers and shallow coastal waters in Southeastern Asia, Indonesia and North Australia

LENGTH (maximum): 7-8 Ft

WEIGHT (maximum): 290 lbs

RELATIVE SPECIES: Looks similar to a Beluga, but is more closely related to other dolphins such as Bottlenose dolphins and Indo-Pacific Hump-Back dolphin.

NEIGHBORING SPECIES: Finless Porpoise, Ganges and Indus River Dolphins, bottlenose dolphins

PREDATORS: Humans

This species is classified as VULNERABLE according to the IUCN's Red List.
This species is classified as VULNERABLE according to the IUCN’s Red List.

THREATS: Direct and incidental catch, pollution, tourism, dams, habitat degradation

DIET: Squid, shrimp, herring, poyfish, etc.

MANNER OF FEEDING: Spitting water at fish to herd them. Sometimes they work alongside fisherman to help one another catch fish.

BEHAVIOR: Travel in groups of 7-10. Sluggish. Often spit water out of the surface, but only in freshwater. Often seen spyhopping, breaching, rolling on their sides waving their flippers.

REPRODUCTION: 14-month gestation

LIFE SPAN: 30 years

COOL/GROSS/WEIRD:

  • One of few dolphins that live in freshwater and saltwater.
  • Natives believe they are reincarnated people sent to rescue people that are drowning.
  • Unique partnership with fisherman.
  • Highly endangered.

SOURCES:

  • Knopf, Alfred A. Guide to Marine Mammals of the World.Random House. 2002
  • http://www.cms.int/reports/small_cetaceans/data/O_brevirostris/O_brevirostris.htm

 

-TSF-

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