Amazon River Dolphins Are Actually A Stunning Shade Of Pink, And These Sea Creatures Take On Their Rosy Hue Over Time Primarily Due To Their Diet

Louise Rivard - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual dolphin

The Amazon River is teeming with wildlife. Swimming in the dark waters of the greatest flowing river on earth are crocodiles, piranhas, green anacondas, and, most interestingly, the Amazon river dolphin, also known as the pink river dolphin.

Out of all the members of the dolphin family, the pink river dolphin is certainly the most eye-catching. But why is it pink in the first place?

Their pink color sets them apart from other dolphin species, but it’s not actually something they’re born with. Initially, they are gray, but over time, they start to take on their famous feature of blush tones.

Amazon river dolphins get their rosy shade primarily from their diets. The fish and crustaceans they eat contain an organic pigment called carotenoids.

Carotenoids are known for giving flamingos their pink hue, and it is thought that the same concept can be applied to the dolphins. Genetics may also play a role in their color. Some studies have suggested that skin thickness can affect how much blood is shown through the skin, possibly contributing to their coloration.

In addition to their pink hue, Amazon river dolphins have a long snout containing sharp, pointy teeth at the front and flatter teeth at the back. Their bodies are large and sleek with a round, protruding forehead known as a “melon.” They can change the shape of their melons to help with their communication and to locate prey, which is done through their echolocation system.

Amazon river dolphins have the unique ability to turn their heads from side to side since their spines aren’t fused together. This allows them to make right turns more easily and maneuver around rocks, tree trunks, and other obstacles. But compared to their ocean-dwelling counterparts, they swim more slowly at average speeds of five to eight miles per hour.

Dolphins are usually associated with saltwater oceans, but the pink river dolphin is one out of five species that makes its home in freshwater. Pink river dolphins can be found in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America. These dolphins are prominent figures in South American folklore, where they are considered mythical creatures.

One legend claims that the dolphins can transform into handsome men to seduce women at night. Another warns that the dolphins might carry you off to their magical underwater world if you were to go swimming alone. It is considered bad luck to hurt or eat the dolphins.

Louise Rivard – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual dolphin

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