Amazon River Dolphin Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Amazon River Dolphin, Pink River Dolphin

Scientific Name:

Inia geoffrensis

Wild Status:



Rivers and lakes


Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela



Life Span:

35 years


8-9.5 ft in length and can weigh up to 350-450 pounds

Cool Facts:

  • Amazon rover dolphins are commonly known as "Botos" within their region.
  • These dolphins like to live independently, and will usually be found alone or in mother-calf pairs. They, can, however, sometimes be found in larger groups when feeding.
  • Male dolphins will carry objects, usually vegetation, to court female dolphins. Males are very aggressive with other males during courtship and are often observed to have many scars and abrasions that have been left from their courting behavior.
  • They are dominantly crepuscular, so they are active mainly between dawn and dusk.
  • During the rainy season, females and calfs prefer to inhabit the flooded areas, and males prefer inhabiting the river channels.


Amazon River Dolphins are very distinguishable from marine water dolphins. They are born a blue-grayish color but grow into their unique, pink shade as they grow into adulthood. When they approach adulthood, males and females start looking drastically different and show many examples of sexual dimorphism. Males tend to have a brighter pink coloration compared to females. Males will also grow to a length of 8-9 ft while females grow to a length of about 7 ft. This is unique, because in most examples of cetaceans, females grow much larger than their male counterparts. As if the Amazon river Dolphin couldn't be anymore unique, they are also the only species of dolphins to have molars! their molars are very similar to humans and they use them o chew their food before swallowing. Other dolphins swallow their food whole. They have a large diversity of food available, and they are not picky eaters. They will eat most fish, shrimp, turtles, and crabs that they have access to.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Artiodactyla Family: Iniidae Genus: Inia Species: I. geoffrensis

Conservation & Helping:

In 2018,  the Amazon River Dolphin was added to the Endangered Species list. Their numbers are decreasing rapidly due to limited restriction on the fishing of these dolphins. Fishermen harvest them to produce bait for catfish. To help in your area, avoid the purchase of River dolphin bait and urge local bait shops to switch to more sustainable options.

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