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Irrawaddy-dolphins

"The first four days in Vietnam we cycle in areas with few westerners come. In any case, we hardly see them. This can also be seen in the menu. Vietnamese only. Exciting but sometimes it doesn't work out that well. For example, the time we get to eat a noodle soup that - we thought - would contain tasty pieces of beef. It turned out to be a collection of inedible parts of the beef."


Playing in the Mekong

          In the Mekong Delta - an unusually large school of Irrawaddy dolphins has been discovered. Scientists discovered the twenty animals in a protected area near the Ba Lua Islands in the South Vietnamese province of Kien Giang. "The number was larger than the normal schools spotted in Malampaya Bay in the Philippines or elsewhere in the Mekong," scientist Vu Long told the German press agency dpa.
Irrawaddy dolphin officially belongs to the species of the sea dolphins. Irrawaddy dolphins are mainly found in the sea, where they mainly swim along the coast and are regularly found in estuaries. But there are a number of populations of Irrawaddy dolphins that spend their lives in rivers: Irrawaddy (Myanmar), Mekong (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand), Mahakam and some other rivers in Indonesia.

 


The often light colored dolphin has a rounded forehead and sometimes some wrinkles in the neck. It has no snout like the common dolphin, only the lips protrude slightly. The Irrawaddy Dolphin has different facial expressions. He can pucker his lips and spit water. Only two cervical vertebrae have grown together, making his face quite mobile. Irrawaddy dolphins live in groups of up to 15 animals. The Irrawaddy Dolphin - whose scientific name is Orcaella brevirostris - is a cetacean dolphin. However, unlike the other species in this family, it does not have a rostrum, or beak. It has a round, blunt head. The entire body is gray-blue with a lighter colored belly. It can weigh between 90 and 200 kg and can measure up to 2.5 meters.
The Irrawaddy dolphin's diet consists mainly of shrimp, although it also likes other crustaceans, octopuses and fish. When they eat, they blow out all the absorbed water through the hole on top of their heads. To communicate with each other, these dolphins make buzzing and peeps with a frequency of up to 60 Khz.

The dolphins, which mainly live in bays and estuaries, are on the red list of endangered species. The WWF estimated in August last year that only 85 copies were left in the Mekong. There the animals predominantly live in the border area between Cambodia and Laos. Other small populations live in Myanmar, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia, among others.
The number of Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia has decreased drastically in recent years, as the Khmer Rouge killed them and sold them to neighboring countries for their oil. Currently, the surviving dolphins are the main tourist attraction in the Mekong.

 


Spraying water

The dolphins are somewhat shy towards humans and who can blame them! We sailed in the boat for an hour and saw a few. There weren't that many, but we're thankful to have seen some of the remaining 100 back.

 

The Mekong:
Length 4909 km
   
Source Height 4975 meter
   
Speed (max) 15.000 m³/s
   
River Basin 795.000 km²
   
Mountain Area Tangla Mountains
   
River Mouth South China Sea
   
Flows through China - Myanmar - Laos - Thailand- Cambodia - Vietnam


With my girl friend

 

 

 


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