Sunday, September 28, 2014

Creature Feature #344: Irrawaddy Dolphin

The Irrawaddy Dolphin inhabits coastlines and estuaries around Southeast Asia. Despite her diminutive stature, she is closely related to the orca.  She lives in small pods, hunting for bony fish, cephalopods and crustaceans, using suction to consume it. Occasionally she will spit streams of water - possibly to herd fish - while "spy hopping". She is a slow swimmer and capable of deep dives lasting up to 12 minutes. Fishers in India once used to call out to the Irrawaddy dolphins, encouraging them to drive fish towards their boats and rewarding them with the bycatch. Now she falls prey to gillnets and dragnets, along with being captured and trained for the amusement of a human audience.

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