New Species of Dolphin

A new kind of river dolphin has been discovered in the Araguaia River in north eastern Brazil. This is the first new dolphin since 1918,that means extremely rare. The aquatic mammal species is to be named after the river where it was found, which means ‘River of red Macaws’ in Tupi-Guarani. There are probably only a thousand individuals in the river basin, putting them on the list of vulnerable species. South America is also home to the Amazon pink river dolphin, or boto, noted for being highly intelligent. The Araguaia river species is smaller, with fewer teeth but most of the evidence to their separate nature was found by studying their DNA. River dolphins are related to their marine cousins and are known for their long snouts for fishing in the river mud. Sadly many local fishermen see them as an unnecessary competition and they are at risk from nets and building of dams.

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