The Chinese River dolphin and
Indus River dolphin are classified
as endangered under the
Endangered Species Act.

Dolphins belong to
the same zoological
order as whales. They
are part of the family
of toothed whales that also includes killer and pilot whales. They are mammals and breathe through a blowhole on the top of their head. 

The tucuxi is the smallest of the dolphin species. It is about five feet in length and weighs about 100 pounds. The largest dolphin species is the orca. Male orcas are about 18 feet in length and weigh about 19,000 pounds! 

Most species have a long lifespan. Some individuals may have lived for more than 100 years. 

Most species live in tropical and temperate oceans throughout the world. Five species live in rivers. 

All but five of the 34 dolphin species live in tropical and temperate oceans. Five species that live in rivers: baiji (Chinese River dolphin), boto (Amazon River dolphin), franciscana (La Plata River dolphin), Ganges River dolphin and Indus River dolphin. 

Using echolocation to find prey, dolphins eat a variety of food including fish, squid and crustaceans. Dolphins often hunt together, surrounding a school of fish, trapping the fish, and taking turns swimming through the school and catching fish. Dolphins will also follow seabirds, other whales and fishing boats to feed opportunistically on the fish they scare up or discard. 

Dolphins are well known for their agility and playful behavior, making them a favorite of wildlife watchers. Many species will leap out of the water, spy-hop (rise vertically out of the water to view their surroundings) and follow ships, often synchronizing their movements with one another. Scientists believe that by swimming alongside ships, a practice known as bow-riding, dolphins conserve energy. Dolphins live in social groups of five to several hundred. 

Following a 9.5 to 17 month gestation, a single calf is born. 

Marine pollution, habitat degredation, harvesting, low frequency sonar, entrapment in fishing gear. 

Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Chinese River dolphin and Indus River dolphin are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
World Animal Foundation
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