Do Dolphins live in Rivers?
We probably heard that dolphins live in the ocean. But do they live in rivers? To find out please continue reading.
River dolphins are a widely distributed group of fully aquatic mammals that reside exclusively in freshwater or brackish water. They are an informal grouping of dolphins, which is a paraphyletic group within the infraorder Cetacea. The river dolphins comprise the extant families Platanistidae (the Indian dolphins), Iniidae (the Amazonian dolphins), and Pontoporiidae (the brackish dolphins). There are five extant species of river dolphins, and two subspecies. River dolphins, alongside other cetaceans, belong to the clade Cetartiodactyla, with even-toed ungulates, and their closest living relatives the hippopotamuses, having diverged about 40 million years ago.
River dolphins are relatively small compared to other dolphins, having evolved to survive in warm, shallow water and strong river currents. They range in size from the 5-foot (1.5 m) long South Asian river dolphin to the 8-foot (2.4 m) and 220-pound (100 kg) Amazon river dolphin. Several species exhibit sexual dimorphism, in that the males are larger than the females. They have streamlined bodies and two limbs that are modified into flippers. River dolphins use their conical-shaped teeth and long beaks to capture fast-moving prey in murky water. They have well-developed hearing that is adapted for both air and water; they do not really rely on vision since the water they swim in is usually very muddy. These species are well-adapted to living in warm, shallow waters, and, unlike other cetaceans, have little to no blubber.
River dolphins are not very widespread; they are all restricted to certain rivers or deltas. This makes them extremely vulnerable to habitat destruction. River dolphins feed primarily on fish. Male river dolphins typically mate with multiple females every year, but females only mate every two to three years. Calves are typically born in the spring and summer months and females bear all the responsibility for raising them. River dolphins produce a variety of vocalizations, usually in the form of clicks and whistles.
River dolphins are rarely kept in captivity; breeding success has been poor and the animals often die within a few months of capture. As of 2015, there are only three river dolphins in captivity.
River dolphins are members of the infraorder Cetacea, which are descendants of land-dwelling mammals of the order Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates). They are related to the Indohyus, an extinct chevrotain-like ungulate, from which they split approximately 48 million years ago.