Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tucuxi

Life of Sea | Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) | Tucuxi or alternately Bufeo gris Bufeo negro (both in Peru) is a dolphin found in the rivers of the Amazon basin. Tucuxi is derived from the Tupi language word tuchuchi-ana, and is now established as the common name of the species. Tucuxis are almost exclusively freshwater animals, occur in the Amazon River and possibly the Orinoco system also. This species can be distinguished according to Amazon River dolphin. The differences in size, color, dorsal fin shape, head shape and behavior are the best evidence for distinguishing them. The Tucuxi costero and may be sympatric in the waters near the mouth of the Amazon River, and it would be almost impossible to distinguish them 'at sea. "
These small dolphin is similar to the rocker arm in the general shape of the body. It is considerably smaller than its peers. It is quite thick, with a moderately long and narrow beak and broad flippers. The dorsal fin that is shorter and more triangular and broad-based than in the tumbler. Sometimes it is bent back at the tip. The Tucuxi has a rounded melon, not of the mouth separated by a distinct fold. On the upper surface is dark-blue or brownish-gray, fading to light gray or white on the belly. There is a broad, somewhat ill-defined stripe from the eye to the flipper with a clear lower boundary between the dark above and light below. A lateral surface of the lighter gray is present behind the flipper, and another side of the mid-body to the anus. The flipper and tail fins are dark gray on the underside. 
Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Mammalia
Order:     Cetacea
Family:     Delphinidae
Genus:     Sotalia
Species:     S. fluviatilis

The Tucuxi exists in small groups of about 10-15 people, and swimming in close groups, suggesting a highly developed social structure. Tucuxis are very active and can jump out of the water (a behavior known as infringement), somersault, spy-hop or tail-splash. However, they are unlikely to boats approaching. Tucuxis been observed to feed with other river dolphins. They feed on a large number of fish. Studies of the growth layers suggest that the species up to 35 years. They do not bow ride, but they are sometimes very active, with several jumps and other types as seen from the air behavior. 
Tucuxis are generally shy and elusive. During the rainy season, animals may move into smaller tributaries, but apparently not to move into the flooded forest to feed (such as Amazon dolphins often do) remain especially in the main river channels, tributaries and lakes. Tucuxis are largely sympatric with botos in the Amazon system, but generally no contact with them (although they are known to do that sometimes). Tucuxi feeds a large variety of fish, mostly small schools species are eaten. Power is both individually and in groups.
There are no global estimates of abundance are available, and estimates only for specific parts of the series are made. The Tucuxi is taken in fishing gear, particularly gillnets and seines, in many areas of the range. Damming rivers has also contributed to problems for this species. Additional threats are the harmful effects of mercury in gold mining, habitat loss destruction, ship collisions, environmental pollution, and behavioral disorders. In the past, live captures have also led to the loss of some animals. The species is not uncommon, and in many parts of the Amazon river system is actually quite plentiful. It comes in some of the highest densities known for any species of cetaceans, and get some protection because of myths and legends that killing to discourage.

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