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River dolphin




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River dolphins
Ganges River Dolphin
Photographer:Brian D. Smith
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Suborder: Odontoceti
Superfamily: Platanistoidea
Families

See text

River dolphins are five species of dolphin which live in fresh water rivers and estuaries. Three species live in fresh water rivers. The La Plata Dolphin lives in salt water estuaries and the ocean.

Differences between marine and river dolphins

Both river dolphins and marine dolphins belong to a group of mammals called cetaceans. The snout of a river dolphin measures about 58 centimeters (2 ft) long, approximately four times as long as that of most marine dolphins. They use their long snout to search for fish on the muddy bottom of the river. River dolphins have smaller eyes than marine dolphins, and their vision is poorly developed because they live in dark, muddy water. River dolphins are less active than marine dolphins because they do not need to search so widely to find fish. Marine dolphins work in pods (packs) because when they find a shoal of fish then they work together to make the most of their find. River dolphins work mostly as individuals or small groups.[3]

Taxonomy

The following is the taxonomy of river dolphins, or how dolphins are classified: [3]

River dolphin classification

References

  1. McGrath, Matt 2014. Brazil dolphin is first new river species since 1918. BBC News Science & Technology.[1]
  2. [2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rice D.W. 1998. Marine mammals of the world: systematics and distribution. Society of Marine Mammalogy Special Publication #4, p231.


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