Pink Dolphins, Legends and Sex
Pink Dolphins really do exist in the Amazon River and tributaries. They are marvelous mammals with a brain capacity 40% larger than ours, grow 8 feet long, weigh up to 400 pounds, and yes they are pink.
Protected by legend
Pink Dolphins are not endangered in the upper Amazon of Peru. Thousands of them live within a 2 day boat ride around Iquitos. They have been protected by legend and superstition for hundreds of years. Today the local fishermen still believe that Pink Dolphins have supernatural powers, and it is the worse kind of bad luck to harm them.
One of the most interesting legends is the flip side of the mermaid. The Pink Dolphin changes into a handsome, charming man and seduces the native maidens along the river bank. If a pretty young woman turns up pregnant when she should not be, the Pink Dolphin frequently gets the blame. John Waymire tells The Legend of the Pink Dolphin very well at his excellent web site, biobio.com.
Pink Dolphins seduce women
I witnessed an example of the legend one day. We took a break to cool off swimming. One by one the men came back onboard until it was just the women left in the water. Some were on the back platform dangling their feet in the water, some doing laundry, all laughing and having fun. All of a sudden a very pink male dolphin breached close to them. The women were startled and let out a shriek. More dolphins came close, and the women shrieked and laughed. The more they squealed and laughed the more dolphins came close. There were more than a dozen dolphins.
I was on the observation deck watching and could hardly believe what I saw. Pink Dolphins were raising half out of the water and turning their heads toward the women. They were as interested in watching the women as the women were to watch them. We tried to use the women as lures a few other times but it never worked that good again.
I came across this headline and article in none other than the Royal Society Journal Biology Letters published the 26th of March 2008.
Pink Dolphins Use Sticks and Stones to Impress the Ladies
“This behavior is unique in aquatic mammals, and among land-based mammals is seen only in chimpanzees and humans. Adult male Amazon river dolphins, or botos, carry natural objects such as sticks and rocks, sometimes throwing them or thrashing them against the surface. They do this predominantly in large groups, in the presence of adult females and other males, with whom they often fight.
Researchers…showed that dolphins appear to use these objects to impress the ladies…The objective…is sex.”
We witnessed something I thought was so unique surely no one in the world had ever seen it before. That impression only lasted until the first person we saw; a park ranger told us he had seen Pink Dolphins with wood in their beaks, and now the Royal Society Journal…
Pink Dolphins crescendo, climax, and post-coital bliss
It was the month of February, and something was going on in the Pink Dolphin community. There were lots of loud bufeo soundings, splashing, and what seemed to be fighting. The crescendo happened when two huge very pink males jumped two thirds out of the water and chest butted each other. The climax was when the winner won her flipper and floated with the female front to front, near the top of the water breeding.
When they separated it was peaceful in the water. Only one dolphin was visible, with a stick of wood in its beak which it held quietly above the water for several minutes, apparently in romantic post-coital bliss.
This is one of the male pink dolphins that fought for the females attention, and more. Look at his battle scarred fluke.
Have you ever observed a pink dolphin playing, fighting, breeding, or holding a piece of wood in its beak? Please leave a comment telling us about your unique experience watching Pink Dolphins.
Pink Dolphins, Legends and Sex
Bill Grimes, jungle guide for Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises
This is an informative article with scientific research on the characteristics of the Pink Dolphin.
Other articles that might be of interest are;