Extinct White Dolphin Spotted in China

June 13, 2008 / 3 Comments

Six years ago scientists from China, Japan, Britain, and the United States all but determined that the white dolphin, also known as baiji, which makes it home in the Yangtze river, was extinct.

baiji thumb  Extinct White Dolphin Spotted in China

Rcently, a white dolphin cub (70-80cms long) with a long tooth filled snout was sighted in the Anhui province. The bad thing however is that it was found dead so I suppose if they aren’t extinct, Yangtze river pollution will surely kill them.

Some say this particular species of dolphin lived as long as 20 million years ago.

Baiji’s cousin, the bottlenose dolphin and that species is also on the endangered species list.

3 Responses

  • D. W. Hoard / June 13, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Note that the probably extinct baiji or “White Fin” Dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) should not be confused with the endangered Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis chinensis), which is a subspecies of the Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin. The Chinese White Dolphin is primarily found in the Pearl River delta between Hong Kong and Macau. The adult Chinese White Dolphin actually has pink skin, caused by blood vessels used for thermoregulation to prevent overheating during exertion.

  • Bill Belew / June 13, 2008 at 10:05 am

    D.W.
    Thanks for this clarification.

    How is, if I may ask, that you know so much about dolphins?

    Is this an interest of yours or something you study?

    Whatever we can do to help protect life on the planet, GP is happy to pitch in.

  • D. W. Hoard / June 13, 2008 at 10:34 am

    hi Bill – I have a long-time interest in the baiji (and marine mammal conservation in general); e.g., see

    http://web.ipac.caltech.edu/staff/hoard/baiji/baiji01.html

    Unfortunately, it’s turned out to be a bit of a depressing “hobby” in recent years.

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