Dolphins are one of the oldest creatures in the world along with some species of turtles, crocodiles and sharks.
Platanista gangetica , the biological name of the Gangetic river dolphin, also called the “blind” river dolphin or the “side-swimming dolphin” is unique to India and an endangered species.
Ganges river dolphins once lived in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
But the species is extinct from most of its early distribution ranges.
The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind.
The Ganges River dolphin is threatened by removal of river water and siltation arising from deforestation, pollution and entanglement in fisheries nets.
In addition, alterations to the river due to barrages are also separating populations
This dolphin is among the four “obligate” freshwater dolphins – the other three are the baiji now likely extinct from the Yangtze river in China, the bhulan of the Indus in Pakistan and the boto of the Amazon River in Latin America.
River Dolphin is the National Aquatic Animal of India.