The Indus river dolphin as the name suggests can be found swimming in the Indus river which is located in Pakistan.
In addition to the name Indus river dolphin it has also been referred to as the “side swimming dolphin” because it is often seen swimming on its side and the “blind dolphin” due to its extremely poor eyesight.
Currently the Indus river dolphin has been placed in conservation by the government of Sind and there appears to be an increase in reproduction for dolphins currently in the reserve.
These dolphins have a stocky build with a brownish colored skin tone.
Their snout is long and becomes wider towards the end.
The flippers and tail are large in size but thin and the dorsal fin appears as a small hump on their back that is triangular in shape.
The eyes are very small and largely useless, in fact they are considered blind and are only able to detect the color and intensity of light.
In terms of size these dolphins can grow to lengths of up to 8.5 ft. and weigh over 200 pounds with the females growing slightly larger than the males.
Their typical diet consists of a variety of fish, clams and shrimp.
While they are capable of holding their breath for several minutes when in search of food these dolphins will often makes dives that last no longer than 90 seconds.
Their primary method for locating food and navigating the ocean is the use of highly developed echolocation.
Indus river dolphins generally travel in pairs although they have been spotted in pods consisting of 10 or more dolphins.
They communicate using a series of clicks and whistles, and are active yet gentle swimmer that rarely perform acrobatic maneuvers.
On occasion they may be seen breaching the water, but this is believed to be more likely a reaction to being startled than a desire to perform.
Unlike other species of dolphin the Indus river dolphin appears to form loose bonds with other dolphins and has a preference towards smaller pods rather than large aggregations.
Breeding typically begins between the ages of 6 – 10 when they reach sexual maturity.
The gestation period (the period from conception to birth) lasts for 9 – 10 months.
While breeding can occur anytime of the year reproduction is highest during the earlier months.
After birth mothers may continue to nurse their newborn for up to 12 months although observations show that on average baby dolphins typically separate from their mother after only a few months.
The average lifespan of these dolphins is estimated to be no more than 30 years.
These dolphins are located in the lower to mid sections of the Indus river which is located in Pakistan.
They are freshwater dolphins that prefer murky waters that are less than 100 ft. deep, but may also venture into deeper waters.
In addition to being accidentally caught in fishing nets these dolphins have also been actively hunted by some fishermen for oil, food and medicine.
Other disturbances include the construction of dams and barrages as well as other man-made technology which has endangered and fragmented large groups of dolphins.