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Amazon River Dolphins (Pink River Dolphins or Botos ) was created using acrylic gel to make the swirling patterns and layers of watercolor washes (the way we all used crayons to make swirling designs that we then colored as kids) - only here I had a drawing to follow. I've always loved dolphins, and have been fascinated by the pink river dolphins ever since I learned of them. A playful painting seemed in order for these magnificent, endangered creatures.
The Amazon River dolphin gets to be about 6.5 feet long. They are the largest fresh water dolphins in the world and come in all shades of pink, from a dull gray-pink to the bright pink of the flamingo. Variations in the dolphins color is due to the clarity of the water they live in.Dolphins living in dark, murky water will be the brighter shades of pink . Exposure to the sun's rays causes the dolphins to lose their pink pigmentation. These river dolphins are also known to flush to a bright pink when excited, just as we blush. There are several anatomical differences between the Amazon River dolphin and other types of dolphins. For one, Amazon River dolphins are able to turn their necks from side to side while most species of dolphin cannot. This trait coupled with their ability to paddle forward with one flipper while paddling backward with the other helps them maneuver when the river floods. These dolphins will actually swim up over the flooded land and their flexibility helps them to navigate around trees. Additional characteristics that set these dolphins apart from other species are molar-like teeth that allow them to chew their prey and bristle-like hairs at the ends of their snouts that help them search for food on the muddy river bottoms. The Amazon River dolphin can be found in the Amazon River system as well as the Orinoco River system. These river systems flow throughout South America, specifically in the countries of Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana and Peru. Amazon River dolphins feast on over 50 types of fish as well as crustaceans found on the river bottom and the occasional turtle. Human activity is the main threat to the Amazon River dolphin. Although these dolphins have long been respected and unharmed because of the local belief that they have magical powers, these beliefs are changing. Some see the dolphins as competition for the fish in the river and kill the dolphins out of greed. The dolphins often become tangled in the nets of fishermen and die. Additionally, the building of hydroelectric dams in South American rivers, pollution, the loss of habitat and decrease in food sources, all threaten this unique species of dolphin.
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(c) 2016 Ellen Lynn Levinson (Ellyn) All images are protected by U.S. and International copyright laws. All rights reserved by the artist Ellen Lynn Levinson (Ellyn). Images may not be reproduced or used in any way without written permission from the artist.
April 15th, 2016
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