Close-up of a Amazon river dolphin's head

Amazon river dolphin

Pink, blue or albino, the Amazon river dolphin is the most distinctive of the five river dolphins. It has a ridge along its back rather than a dorsal fin and its fat, heavy body is surprisingly flexible. Paddle-like flippers which move in a circular motion provide exceptional manoeuvrability, making up for a lack of speed. The Amazon and Orinoco river basins provide all the food in its highly diverse diet, including at least 40 different species of fish. It relies on echolocation to find prey in the muddy waters. Males can reach two and a half metres in length, making them the largest of the river dolphins. This is unusual as in the other four species, the females are the larger sex. Amazon river dolphins have few natural predators, but caimans, anacondas and jaguars have been known to take them.

Scientific name: Inia geoffrensis

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Boto,
  • Bouto,
  • Pink dolphin,
  • Pink river dolphin

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The Amazon river dolphin can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Amazon river dolphin distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Amazon river dolphin