The Pink River Dolphin - Bolivia for Kids

by Kricket

Now you've probably heard of the regular ocean dolphins, the cute silver-colored animals that jump in and out of the water and make lots of clicking noises. Well, this is Bolivia and in Bolivia, as you may know, we don't have an ocean. But we do have lakes and rivers and there's something very special about OUR river dolphins.

The Amazon Pink River Dolphin

The Amazon River Dolphin is a species of dolphin native only to the rivers of Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Unlike most dolphins, which tend to stay around the silver to grey color scheme, the Amazon River Dolphin has a special PINK coloring. The reason behind their pink coloring is a type of algae that lives in the rivers, which they eat. This same type of algae is also the cause of the pink feathers of flamingos, which also eat it. Their diet is mostly fish, but with over 50 types of fish to chose from it's no problem. These dolphins eat 25% of their body weight every day.

They also get very pink when they do a lot of exercise because the blood flows to the tiny capillaries that are just below their skin.

Their behavior is different than that of regular dolphins, too. For example they can live in pods as small as only 2 members, which is a very small group and a large pink dolphin pod can contain only 15 dolphins. This is because pink dolphins aren't as social as ocean dolphins.


Did you know that these Dolphins are the only ones found in Bolivia? They are fresh water dolphins and would not survive in the salty water of the ocean. In Bolivia we call them "bufeos". Their scientific name is Inia geoffrensis boliviensis.

Though they aren't very social, they are very playful and will play with grass at the bottom of rivers, logs, and even with other animals living in the rivers, like turtles and fish. They are very flexible and can swim through tight areas. They also have another talent: they can swim upside down, which experts believe they do in order to see downwards. Image Source

So that's the Amazon River Dolphin or Pink River Dolphin that lives in Bolivia. Are there any animals in your country that have a color that is unusual within their species?


Submitted 2015-05-28

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