Field and Aquarium Study of the Blind River Dolphin (Platanista Gangetica).
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES SAN FRANCISCO STEINHART AQUARIUM
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Specimens of the blind river dolphin Susu or Buhlaan Platanista gangetica, taken from the Indus River, West Pakistan, were investigated. Three female samples, weighing 43, 49, and 59 pounds, were flown from Sukkur, West Pakistan, to the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco. The Susu proved to be sideswimmers, the first cetaceans known to use this method of swimming. Sonar effectiveness of the animal is believed to be great, since healthy blind dolphins have never been observed to hit a wall or obstacle. Autopsies on the specimens, following two deaths attributable to pneumonic infection and one to injury during capture, revealed that the animals eyes, although rudimentary, presumably act at least as light sensors. Author
- Anatomy and Physiology