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Boto (Inia geoffrensis) - Wiki <!--아마존강돌고래, 분홍돌고래-->
Subject: Boto (Inia geoffrensis) - Wiki
Boto, Amazon River Dolphin, Pink River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis).jpg
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Boto (Inia geoffrensis) - Wiki

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[Photo] Phylum : Chordata - Class : Mammalia - Order : Cetacea - Family : Iniidae - Species : Inia geoffrensis. Boto at at the zoo of Duisburg. Date 2006-06-03. Author Dennis Otten.
Copyright (C) Dennis Otten
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

The Boto, Amazon River Dolphin or Pink River Dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) is a freshwater river dolphin endemic to the Amazon River and Orinoco River systems. The largest of the river dolphins, this species is not to be confused with the Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis), whose range overlaps that of the Boto but is not a true river dolphin.

The IUCN lists various other names to describe this species including Amazon Dolphin, Boto Vermelho, Boto Cor-de-Rosa, Bouto, Bufeo, Dauphin de l'Amazone, Inia, Pink Dolphin, Pink Freshwater Dolphin, Pink Porpoise, and Tonina.

The first type specimen was described by Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville in 1817.

1998 classification lists a single species, I. geoffrensis, in the genus Inia, with three recognised subspecies:

I.g. geoffrensis - Amazon basin population (excluding Madeira river drainage area, above the Teotonio Rapids in Bolivia)
I.g. boliviensis - Amazon basin population in the Madeira drainage area
I.g. humboldtiana - Orinoco basin population

Some older classifications listed the boliviensis population as a separate species.

Physical description
The boto can vary in colour from a memorable bright pink colour through to a murky brown, grey, blue-grey or creamy white. When young, the dolphins are a light grey and develop in colour later on. When they are excited or surprised, they become pinker - almost as if they are blushing. Adults are typically 2.5 metres (8 feet) in length and weigh 150 kilograms (330 pounds). The flippers are large compared with body size and are curved back. The Boto does not have a dorsal fin, though a bumpy raised ridge on the back shows the evolutionary remnants of one. It has a prominent, long, thin beak with 25-35 pairs of teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. The front teeth are peglike, whereas the rear teeth are flatter with cusps. The two tooth types serve different functions: seizing prey and crushing, respectively. Botos generally feed from the bottom of the river and their preferred diet consists of crabs and small fish. Small turtles are also occasionally eaten.

This species is not often seen in groups larger than 5, but in rare circumstances up to 20 may be seen together. Unlike other dolphins, the Boto's cervical(neck) vertebrae are not fused, allowing the head a wide range of movement. Though their eyes are small they can see quite well, except for their bulging cheeks hampering downward view. This, however, is overcome by swimming upside-down.

By the precarious standards of the river dolphins, the Boto is the most secure species in the superfamily. Nevertheless, the 1994 and 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classified it as vulnerable. In contrast to the rapidly dwindling areas of population of the recently-extinct Baiji and the Ganges and Indus River Dolphin, the area populated by the Boto seems to have remained fairly steady over time. Although complete surveys have not been taken owing to the inaccessibility of the rainforests, it is estimated that the total population of Botos runs into tens of thousands.

Botos have never been directly hunted. However fishermen are known to have occasionally killed them to protect their catch and fishing gear. It is not known whether this practice is widespread enough to damage local sub-populations. Since 1988 this practice has been outlawed in Brazil and Bolivia and in protected areas of Peru, Venezuela and Colombia.

The rising human population in the Amazon and Orinoco basins gives scientists cause for concern. Several damming projects of the kind that have devastated the recently-extinct Baiji populations in Asia have been proposed for the region which environmentalists are vigorously opposed to.

Some Boto deaths occur to mercury poisoning of their environment. These deaths typically occur close to gold mines; mercury is widely used to separate gold from surrounding rock.

In a traditional Amazon River myth, at night a Boto becomes a handsome young man who seduces girls, impregnates them, then returns to the river in the morning to become a Boto again. This dolphin shapeshifter is called an encantado. It has been suggested that the myth arose partly because dolphin genitalia bear a resemblance to that of humans. In the local area, there are also tales that it is bad luck to kill a Boto. It is also said that, if eye contact is made with a Boto, you will have nightmares for the rest of your life.

Food and diet
The Boto has peg-like front teeth for catching prey and it mainly eats crabs, shrimps, and sometimes even turtles and catfish.

Botos in captivity
There are only two institutions keeping Botos in human captivity, the Acuario de Valencia (Venezuela) that keeps 5 and the Duisburg Zoo (Germany) where there is only one boto. At Duisburg Zoo the oldest known Amazon River Dolphin died with the age of over 40 years in October 2006.
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Pink and Gray River Dolphins
Of the five freshwater species of dolphins in the world, the pink Amazon River dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, or "bufeo colorado” as they are known in Peru and “botos" as they known in in Brazil, are considered to be the most intelligent.
These friendly, sensitive, mammals with a brain capacity 40% larger than that of humans, who have lived in harmony with the people of the Amazon and its tributaries for centuries, now face extinction in some tributaries. What was considered to be one of the least threatened species of dolphins 20 years ago, has now become one of the most endangered species due to the accelerated and commercialized rape of the Amazon basin and the destruction of the South American tropical rainforest.

No one knows the actual number of Inia geoffrensis that live n the Amazon basin, but according to the reseach and studies that Roxanne Kremer has conducted in the Upper Basin of the Peruvian Rainforest, 150 kilometers upstream of Iquitos, Peru, the number of pink dolphins from 18 years ago has risen from eight pink dolphins on the Yarapa River to 35 to 45. Ms. Kremer counted the dolphins in July 1998. ISPTR believes that her work with the Peruvian Forest Police to protection both species of river dolphins, and empowering the local peoples of their rights and use of the law, there has been less illegal commercial fishing and logging in the area, thus saving the natural habitat of the land and aquatic life.

The struggle to save these treasured beings as an important link in an ecosystem -- currently being encroached upon by industrialized forces -- is being spear-headed by the non-profit International Society for the Preservation of the Tropical Rainforest (ISPTR), whose first globally known project PARD, the Preservation of the Amazonian River Dolphin.
Scientific Name: Inia geoffrensis (Blainville, 1817)
Common Names:
English – Boto, Pink River Dolphin, Boutu, Amazon River Dolphin
French – Dauphin De L'Amazone, Inia
Spanish – Bufeo

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