Baiji

Baiji.jpgBaiji (Lipotes vexillifer), was found in the China's Chang Jiang river, and also at the lower areas of Quintangjiang River. They are 'functionally extinct', meaning that they are alread extinct, or that there are no Baiji to save the species from extinction. Baiji are freshwater dolphins. Consistent with the body of dolphins, they have streamlines forms. A Baiji has rounded flippers, beak-like snouts and totally devoid of hair. Eyes are small but operational, the blowholes are shaped elliptically. Baijis possess a combination of colors, blue-gray mixed with white. These dolphins possess no forestomach, but the main stomach is made up of 3 compartments.

The female Baiji measures on the average from 1.85 m to 2.53 m, weighing at anything from 64kgs to 167. The males on the other hand would be from 1.41 m to 2.16 m, weight's range is from 42 to 125 kgs.

The breeding period of the Baiji only occurs every 2 years, and their mating period goes to a peak during autumn and spring. The reproductive maturity of the distaff side is from 3 to 8 years, the same goes to the male side.

Their longevity could reach up to 24 years, but that is in the wild. These dolphins ordinarily go in pairs, and they could join up with other pairs, forming a set of about ten.
During nighttime, they stay in territories of slow current, but they are classified as diurnal. They use echolocation as a means of navigation and search for food, and in communicating, they whistle to each other. Their diet consists of fish, and they probe the bottom using their impressive beaks. A typical dive is very brief, not exceeding 20 seconds.

The Baiji has been labelled by China as a national treasure "of the first order".

Interesting fact: Many times before, the fat of dead Baijis was utilized for medicinal objectives and the flesh was eaten.

Picture of the baiji by Alessio Marrucci, licensed under GFDL

Keywords: white

The Baiji, changjiang dolphin, chinese lake dolphin, white flag dolphin, whitefin dolphin, yangtze river dolphin is listed as Critically Endangered (CR), facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Countries
China
Some facts about the
Yangzte river dolphin or baiji

Adult weight : 83.5 kg (183.7 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 24 years

Female maturity :2920 days

Gestation : 319 days

Litter size : 1

Litters per year : 1

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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