Ganges River Dolphin


 Ganges river dolphins are top predators in an incredibly complex freshwater ecosystem. They have a diverse variety of prey and no natural predators. These are highly interactive creatures with many relationships between them and their surrounding biotic organisms.

Also contributing to their predatory success is their capability to communicate with each other. Although mostly solitary, they sometimes work and communicate in groups, although less frequently than marine dolphins, to herd schools of fish to optimize their chances and volume of prey caught. (Jensen et al., 2010)This is made possible through their evolved ability to use and understand the clicks they make for their adapted biosonar capabilities.

Technically, there are no natural predators to the Ganges River dolphin in their native habitat. This has not prevented them from being placed on the Endangered Species List, and is instead largely due to human activity. They are incredibly restricted in their habitat now because much of the Ganges River and Indus River is immensely polluted making those areas uninhabitable for the dolphins. This may result in them eventually becoming extinct like the similar Yangtze River dolphin This also lowers the potential number of dolphins because there is a much smaller and more finite resource pool for them to access. Also, they are killed by humans in a more direct and purposeful way for their many uses. The oil from the dolphin is used in many traditional medicines in the area and is incredibly valuable. Their meat is also used by the local fisherman as it is believed that it is more effective as fish bait, which has been proven to be false. 420px-Toothed_whale_sound_production.png


Figure 1. Basic toothed whale sound production diagram