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Why are Dolphins Turning Pink?

Apr 29, 2016 11:21 AM EDT
Diving with pink dolphins in the Amazon rainforest in the middle of the Amazon River!
Photo of a pink dolphin of the Amazon River
(Photo : Paesml/ Wiki Commons)

With the changing times, evolution is inevitable. Even with animals, they change and adapt to the environment in order to thrive. Sometimes these changes are baffling causing men to question why or how. Just like the changes in dolphin's skin color. Just like the pink dolphins who are once perceived as a mythical being.

Just like the Botos of Amazon river, these dolphins that are perceived mythical beings at first because of their rare color. In a report by BBC, they said that the Amazon pink dolphins are real. These dolphins are rather quiet and according to experts, the adult males are the "pinkest".

The bolo is one of the few remaining species of the freshwater dolphin, and they come in pink and grey. Vanessa Mintzer at the University of Florida said there's a "Colouration varies."

There's a lot of theories which explain the pink color, Anthony Martin at the University of Dundee, and Vera da Silva of the National Research Institute of the Amazon in Brazil suggest that the color is due to extreme aggression with dolphins "Almost the entire body surface of adult males is often covered with multiple overlapping tooth-rake marks,"

While Tim Caro of the University of California said that "Pink is surely a way to match the particulate red mud that occurs in some of the rivers following heavy rains,"

Experts would want to further study the discoloration that takes effect but because of the rarity of pink dolphins it is proven to be a difficult task.

A dolphin-dedicated organization said that pink dolphins are different from sea dolphin. They feed on crabs, catfish, small river fish and even small turtles and the largest population known are the botos of the Amazon.

Although experts from the organization said they cannot fully explain yet why this happens, they said that dolphins turning pink can be attributed to the adaptation to the river life. The capillaries near the surface of the skin produce such enchanting color. They said the colors are enhanced when pink dolphins see human being, much like when people are blushing.

In Taiwan, another specie of pink dolphin is deemed endangered, the Taiwanese humpback dolphin. According to the Environment News Service "the Taiwanese humpback dolphin is unusual because its skin color changes from grey to pink or white as it matures." Although there are no distinct reason yet as to why their color changes from grey to pink, conservationist are calling for help since there are only 75 of them left on earth. And if they vanish now, men won't truly understand the mystery that envelopes the Taiwanese humpback dolphin.

The petitioners say that the U.S. Endangered Species Act can protect these dolphins from becoming extinct. Taylor Jones, endangered species advocate at WildEarth Guardians said in an interview that "The Service needs to actively combat the current extinction crisis by quickly protecting species like the Taiwanese humpback dolphin."

Since there are more to the pink dolphins men are yet to discover, conservationists and locals in areas where they thrive should work together to protect these species. Not only because science would like to understand their fascinating colors, but because these species deserves to thrive and reproduce and to create their next generation just like humans.

 

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