Ganges River Dolphin


Kingdom: Animalia
    Organisms in this kingdom are multicellular, heterotrophic, and most digest food internally. Their cells lack cells walls and these cells come together to form tissues. Most of the time, these tissues will be organized into organs. These organisms are able to move faster than others and reproduce sexually via egg and sperm. Most of the time, they are diploid.

Phylum: Chordata
    Chordates are organisms that have a declared notochord at some point of their life. It extends from most of the body and acts as support. Chordates also have bilateral symmetry, segmented bodies, three germ lyer, a single nerve chord, ventral heart, complete digestive system, and a bode or cartilage endoskeleton.

Subphylum: Vertebrata
    Vertebrates all have a veterbral column that runs from head to tail. It also acts as a stiffer version of the notochord. They usually have and epidermis and an inner dermis. Their heart has 2 to 4 chambers.

Class: Mammalia
    Mammals have three middle ear bones, hair, and produce milk. The bones are used to help vibrations travel to the ear. Their hair helps insulate the organism, as well as helps with color patterns, and heightens their sense of touch. Female mammals produce milk through their mammary glands. This shows that female mammals spend a lot of time with raising their offspring and caring for them. They are very diverse in form and vary in ecological and historical strategies. They can also be found everywhere in the world.

Order: Cetacea
    This order is composed of dolphins, porpoises, and whales. There are at least 83 species living today. They are found  in the oceans, as well as lakes and river in North America, South America, and Asia. They are only aquatic.Cetaceans have a streamlined body shape, paddle-shaped front limbs, no fingers or claws, a flattened tail for swimming, no hair, shortened neck, and no sweat glands.

Family: Platanistidae
    The family includes Indian river dolphins. These dolphins are small and have a long, slender beak. Their eyes are also small, but unlike other cetaceans, they have a distinct neck. Included in their superfamily (Platanistoidea) are other river dolphins like the Amazon river dolphin and the Irrwawady river dolphin.

Genus: Platanista
    Ganges dolphins and Indus dolphins

Species: Platanista gangetica
Ganges river dolphin
(Swinton & Gomez, 2009).


Phylogeny of Ganges river dolphin
Figure 1. This is the phylogenous hypothesis of Ceaceans. It is based on genomic, mophologic, and paleontologic data. River dolphin lineages are red, while fossil lineages are dotted. The blue lines show the lineages that connect extant taxa.