By Jason Lee. What Are Pink Dolphins? Pink dolphins (Sousa chinensis 中華白海豚 ) also known as...
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Transcript of By Jason Lee. What Are Pink Dolphins? Pink dolphins (Sousa chinensis 中華白海豚 ) also known as...
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- By Jason Lee
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- What Are Pink Dolphins? Pink dolphins (Sousa chinensis ) also known as Chinese White Dolphins or Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins are a species of humpback dolphins one of the 80 cetacean species. Pink Dolphins can live up to 40 years. Pink dolphins are an endangered species.There are currently 120 pink dolphins alive in Hong Kong.
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- Appearance Adult dolphins are usually white or grey in colour, but pink dolphins that live along the Chinese coast is unique as they have pink skin, which is due to blood vessels used for thermoregulation to prevent overheating. Adult pink dolphins have a body length of around 200 - 350 centimetres and an infant's body length is about 1 metre. Pink Dolphins have a triangular dorsal fin. Pink Dolphins also have a sloping forehead and a long slender beak. Pink Dolphins have a total of 120 teeth. Pink dolphins are born with black skin. During childhood, their skins changes to grey. When pink dolphins reach youth age, they are pinkish grey with spots. Finally, when they reach adulthood, pink dolphins will be pinkish white with no spots. A diagram of this is shown above.
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- Adaptations Due to their lung capacity, adult dolphins can stay underwater for about two to eight minutes but a calf can only stay underwater for one to three minutes and surfaces twice as much as adults due to a smaller lung capacity. Pink Dolphins have a pair of protruding eyes so they can see clearly in both air and water. Pink Dolphins can interpret the sounds reflected from objects underwater to locate objects, food and avoid danger. This is known as echolocation. Echolocation can also be used to visualise the internal structure and density of an object. The communication hub that processes this information is located on the dolphins forehead.
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- Diet Pink dolphins feed mainly on fish. They prey on over 20 different species including Croakers, Lion-head croakers, Thryssas and Bomby ducks etc.
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- Where In Hong Kong, Are Pink Dolphins Found? Chinese white dolphins live near estuaries, such as Hong Kongs western waters, where the Pearl River joins the South China Sea. These include waters off north, south and west of Lantau Island, and Deep Bay. The following picture on the right shows where pink dolphins were found.
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- Hong Kongs Environmental Issues That Affect Pink Dolphins One of the major environmental threats to pink dolphins is water pollution. Sewage we release into the sea contains large amounts of bacteria. This can cause serious harm to the health of pink dolphins because harmful chemicals from pesticides and other substances can poison them. Another threat is reclamation taking place. Pink dolphins feed in shallow areas with a depth rarely exceeding 10 m. But in the past 12 years, the natural coastal areas in Lantau have been destroyed by large-scale reclamation projects, such as the Chep Lap Kok airport and upcoming ones which include an LNG terminal at Soko Island, the Hong Kong- Zhuhai- Macao bridge, Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link and the Third Airport Runway. Reclamation has not just removed the pink dolphins habitats, but it has also removed habitat for fish which pink dolphins feed on. The picture on the left shows reclamation over the past 12 years whereas, the picture on the right shows the possible future for large-scale developments.
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- What YOU Can Do To Help Located in the northwest of Lantau Island, Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park was set up for the protection of Pink Dolphins. But that doesnt mean individuals like you cant help with conserving Pink Dolphins. Below is the list of things you could do to help with the environment that results a better habitat for Pink Dolphins: Avoid littering in the sea. Conserve water - if less water flow down the drain, less sewage is released into the sea. Dont buy marine animal products as you will encourage people to go out and get more, which destroys marine environment. Cut down petroleum usage so less oil will be shipped around the world. If more oil is shipped, the probability of ships crashing into each other and oil spillage increases whereas, if less oil were to be shipped, there will be less chance of oil spillage.