Thursday, May 27, 2010
Creature Feature: Pink River Dolphins
Dolphins are the girliest creatures alive. Many of us know them as the ocean's most giggly, playful residents, making dolphins and rainbows go hand in hand. Dolphins are extremely intelligent creatures, and, because of their social natures, are used at least as often as wolves for examples of natural parallels to human society. That includes rape and murder, by the way.
What many people do not know is that there are a fair amount of freshwater dolphin species. One species of river dolphin (the Yangtze River Dolphin) went officially extinct in 2006. The pink Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) - is, you guessed it, pink. Rare instances of albino bottlenose dolphins also exist, but those are a saltwater species. The dolphin I speak of is pink as a species.
No, it is not simply pinker than your average dolphin. It is not just 'peachy.' It is fiery flamingo pink. Lisa Frank would have a field day.
The pink river dolphin is native to the Orinoco, Amazon, and Araguaia/Tocantins River systems of South America. These river systems cover the whole upper half of the continent. Although it is currently unknown how many individuals exist, naturalists attempt to get the pink dolphins governmental protection.
Of course, a pink dolphin like this sticks out no matter where you're from. The tribal people of the Amazon rain forest have a number of legends surrounding this pink, aquatic mammal. They are mixed between the bitter and the sweet. Some legends say that, as with unicorns, it's bad luck to kill a pink dolphin; so much as looking one in the eye brings lifelong nightmares; the dolphins become princes at night that, much like incubi, mysteriously impregnate women. Damned if you do, damned if you don't!
I am sure that Victoria's Secret would be thrilled to add pink dolphins to their merchandise. C'mon; environmentally-friendly AND sexy sells! The pink dolphins are win-win! (Note: This critter would also make an AMAZING blacklight tattoo!)