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Kristi Simpson Biosc 491-14Tropical Biology April 1999 Dr E Pivorun Dolphins of the Amazon River How Sotalia fluviatilis and Inia geoffrensis coexist in their habitat The Amazon River and its lush beautiful forest are surely among the most amazing ecosystems in the world The ever-present primordial cacophony that echoed in my ears as I stood breathlessly watching saddle-backed tamarins Saguinus fuscicollis leap from tree to tree is what I will forever crave to hear again As a biology student I have always read about the great biodiversity of the neotropics as the importance of habitat conservation and protection is beaten into my brain at every turn Of course as a naturalist I agree with the prevailing opinion of today that our world is in dire need of help However I couldnt appreciate the true beauty and magic of the tropical Amazon until I was literally swimming in the middle of it breathing in the wet fragrant air and seeing the misting puffing backs of the pink river dolphins Inia geoffrensis circling around me As a lover of all cetaceans I was very interested in learning more about the dolphins of the Amazon River but it was a surprise to find that the pink river dolphins also called botos are not the only species of cetacean in their habitat Tucuxis Sotalia fluviatilis are smaller sleeker inhabitants that share the waters with the botos although they are also found in coastal waters of the South American Atlantic Ocean The tucuxi looks like a miniature bottlenose dolphin with its short beak and sleek design It is important to make note that tucuxis are considered to be in two forms the marine form and the freshwater form Borobia et al 1026 Borobia hypothesizes that the two forms which vary for the most part in size may be due to temperature differences so that the marine form as it inhabits colder seasonal temperatures than its riverine
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