The Pink Amazon River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), also known as ‘boto’ by the locals, is likely to be the highlight of anyone’s trip to the Amazon Rainforest. That is, if you’re lucky enough to spot one. This dwindling species makes its home in the majestic Amazon River and its tributaries and every now and again one of them pops its head up in front of a small boat of delighted adventurers.
Although the Pink Amazon River dolphin is rare, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is the place on earth to spot one. While there are no guarantees, your odds are good. But, don’t be disappointed if this curious creature eludes you. This enormous park is teeming with other wildlife, including jaguars, caimans, pumas, and hundreds of different kinds of birds.
So, other than the mystery surrounding these noble seafarers, what else makes the pink river dolphin so extraordinary? Here are some interesting facts about them that should pique your interest.
Amazon Pink River Dolphin Interesting Facts
1. These Amazon River Dolphins aren’t all pink (but most of them are)
So, despite being called the pink river dolphin, not all of them are pink. They all start off grey and as they get older some turn pink and some stay grey. Those that are pink, however, can range from pale pink to flamingo pink and when they get excited they flush an even brighter pink.
2. Pink River Dolphins are Very Large
Pink Amazon River dolphins are enormous! They can grow up to eight feet long and weigh over 450 pounds. They also have much bigger brains than other dolphins, making them very intelligent creatures and have 40% more brain capacity than humans. It’s not every day you get outsmarted by an animal, but the pink river dolphin might just do it.
3. There is a fascinating Amazonian folklore surrounding the Dolphins
The local people of Iquitos and the Amazon Region have infused the pink river dolphins with mysticism by creating fascinating tales about them. Whether they are based on some semblance of reality is unknown, but that doesn’t stop the mythology from being highly entertaining. One popular myth is that at night the male pink river dolphins transform into handsome men to seduce the local women.
The tales about the dolphins serve a dual purpose. The first is simply to provide entertainment, but the second, and much more important, is to protect them. When a creature obtains a mythical status, it usually becomes bad luck to harm one of them. Thanks to the legends surrounding the pink Amazon River dolphin, they are able to live in a state of conservation, which aids their already small population.
4. Male River Dolphins have nailed courtship
If you thought your other half was sweet for bringing you chocolate, wait until you hear how the pink river dolphin attracts a mate. First it will gather something in its mouth, like a branch or long grass, or even a live turtle. Then, it will wave this in the air to attract the attention of a potential mate. It is a grandiose and spectacular affair and it works more often than not.
5. Pink River Dolphins are highly sociable
Pink river dolphins love hanging out together and you will often find them swimming in pods together. They move slowly and are always on the look-out for their next meal! During their nursing period, pink river dolphins aggregate in groups, and they even raise their offspring together.
Hopefully, you are now completely fascinated by the pink river dolphin and desperate to learn more about them. All you need to do now is to give yourself the best opportunity to see one in the Amazon Rainforest. Delfin Amazon Cruises offers itineraries through the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve where there is a good chance to spot Pink River Dolphins. In 2020, Delfin Amazon Cruises has invited Dr. Joanna Alfaro, a Pink River Dolphin biologist onboard to host special Dolphin Cruises. If you are interested in joining us onboard, please contact us, or call 1-833-201-8684.