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Dolphin Species: La Plata River Dolphin
Pontoporia blainvillei

Gray-brown in color with a long "beak". Adults are only about 2 meters long.

La Plata dolphins live off the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina in South America. La Plata dolphins are also called franciscana and Pontoporia blainvillei. They are very small dolphins: they only grow to be 4 or 5 (less than 2 meters) feet long! They are grayish-brown and have very long beaks. They have many sharp teeth in their beaks that they use to catch fish, shrimp and squid. Every year, a new layer is added to each dolphin's teeth. This way, when a scientist studies a dead dolphin, he or she can count the number of layers in the teeth and guess how old the dolphin is.

Coastal waters of South America

shrimp and squid

Plata dolphins are very hard to see in the ocean, so no one knows how many there are in the wild. Very little is known about how these dolphins behave. Sadly, they are often caught in fishermenÕs nets and are killed. Pablo Bordino is working to learn more about the behavior of La Plata dolphins so that he can prevent them from being caught by fishermen.


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