Rare Pacific humpback dolphins appear in Do Son waters
This dolphin is quite special with pink color on the whole body. Fishing, swimming and acrobatics are relatively comfortable for the dolphin, which many people enjoy. Some residents followed closely and recorded acrobatic videos. Because of its pink skin, some experts initially assumed that this could be an Amazon river dolphin that got lost on Do Son Bbeach. However, the marine mammal research team of the Institute of Marine Environment and Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, led by MSc. Pham Van Chien, has collected information and carefully analyzed recorded images and videos from the scene, combined with information consultation with experts from the International Society for Marine Mammal Research at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, and the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Taichung, have determined: The dolphin that appeared in the sea near Hon Dau and Do Son islands is a species of Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin, the scientific name is Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765), belonging to the long nosesnout dolphin family (Delphinidae). This is a rare species of dolphin, listed in the Red Book of Vietnam ast Endangered (EN).
The Pacific humpback dolphin is a medium-sized species, with a maximum length of about 2.8 m, a maximum weight of about 280 kg. The snout is long, the dorsal fin short and wide, the head has a hump. Juveniles are usually black and gray, and adults are typically pink or white (Figure 1). The Pacific humpback dolphin is found in northern Australia, southern China, Indonesian waters and around the coast from the Indian Ocean to southern Africa, living in the warm and temperate tropics zone. (Figure 2). In Vietnam, this species was previously found in the waters of Van Don, Quang Ninh province, Do Son city of Hai Phong, and the waters of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa province. However, in recent years, this dolphin species has rarely been seen in the waters of Vietnam. Currently, athe specimen of this species is being stored at the Do Son Marine Museum under the Institute of Marine Environment and Resources. The discovery of this dolphin species in the waters of Do Son, Hai Phong city shows a sign that this rare marine mammal is returning to inhabit the waters of Vietnam.
Figure 1. Pacific Humpback Dolphins (Photo: IUCN)
Figure 2. Distribution of Pacific Humpback Dolphins around the world (according to IUCN January 2021)
Translated by Phuong Ha
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