River Dolphins: Chatty Cathies of the Marine World

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Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Elusive River Dolphins Caught Chatting Up a Storm

by Brigit Katz, Smithsonian.com

Araguaian river dolphins are highly elusive creatures. Identified as a unique species just five years ago (though the classification is subject to debate), these cetaceans are solitary, shy of humans and endangered. Only 1,000 may be alive today.

Video of Araguian River Dolphins

As a result, these dolphins are difficult to observe and there is much that remains unknown about them, including the nature of their communication. Previous theories posited that the animals’ vocal repertoire was more limited than that of their chatty marine relatives—like bottlenose dolphins—since Araguaian river dolphins are thought to spend much of their time alone. But as Gizmodo’s George Dvorsky reports, a new study suggests that Araguaian river dolphins are quite talkative indeed.

The mysterious animals belong to a South American group of river dolphins known as “botos,” which are found only in the Amazon, Orinoco, and Tocantins river basins, according to the new paper, published in the journal PeerJ. Though botos are typically skittish, there is a group of Araguaian dolphins that has become accustomed to humans; the animals hang out near a market in the Brazilian town of Mocajuba, where human shoppers feed them tasty fish.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – two daughters-in-law; Suzy and Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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