Mekong River Dolphins

Nowadays the river dolphins, of which there are around 100, largely live in kratie Province (315 km northeast of Phnom Penh) and Stung Treng Province (455 km northeast of Phnom Penh). Both provinces can be accessed through National Road No 7 and No 13 by car.

Dolphin is the name of a group of animals closely related to whales and porpoises. Like whales and porpoises, dolphins are mammals, not fish. Mammals, unlike fish, feed their young with milk that is produced in the mother’s body. Also unlike fish, dolphins have lungs and are warm blooded that is their body temperature always stays about the same, regardless of the temperature of their surroundings. Many scientists believe that dolphins rank among the most intelligent animals, along with chimpanzees and dogs.

The dolphins are normally between 2m 2.8m in length and 180kg in weight. The dolphins can live from 20 to 40 years and eat small fish, snails, and shellfish as food. They can swim at about 42 km an hour and hold their breath for 5-10 minutes; they can also dive to a depth of around 300 meters. They like swimming in a school of 6-10 and communicate one another via sound waves.

Most dolphins make in summer. The males are called bulls, and the females are called cows. The courtship behavior may involve head bumping. The pregnancy period for dolphins lasts from 10 to 12 months. The females almost always give birth to one baby, called a calf, once every two years, often between June and August. After the calf is born, it immediately swims to the surface for its first breath of air. A newborn dolphin is 1m in length and one fifth of the normal dolphin in weight.

The dolphins, which have similar characteristics to humans, always smile pleasantly at guests. Tourists can see river dolphins that have characteristics distinct fro the sea dolphins.

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