Blind River Dolphin: First Side-Swimming Cetacean

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Science  12 Dec 1969:
Vol. 166, Issue 3911, pp. 1408-1410
DOI: 10.1126/science.166.3911.1408


The blind river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), first written about by Pliny the Elder in A.D. 72, was found (10 November 1968) to be the first known side-swimming cetacean. The rudimentary eye lacks the lens, but anatomical evidence suggests that the eye may serve as a light sensor. The underwater sound emissions of this species, although similar to those of the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), appear to be produced constantly.

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