1 minute read

Baiji: Lipotidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Baiji And People, Conservation StatusGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET

The baiji lives along the 1,056 miles (1,700 kilometers) of the Yangtze River in eastern China. During the late spring and early summer, this freshwater dolphin moves to smaller streams and lakes if the water is high enough. At one time the lakes of Dongting and Poyang were home to the baiji year-round, but with the drop in water level these lakes can no longer support its presence.

The baiji is often found at places where tributaries (smaller streams) enter the river or along sandbars and dikes. When resting, it spends a lot of its time where the river is wide and slow moving. The baiji comes closer to shore to feed. During this time, it uses its long beak or snout to probe through the mud on the river's bottom.

Baijis, like many dolphins, are carnivores and have a diet consisting only of fish. A wide variety of species is consumed, limited only by the size of fish that can fit down its throat. Most of the fish are less than 2.6 inches (6.5 cm) long and weigh less than 9 ounces (250 grams). The baiji does not chew its food. It eats the whole fish at once, head first.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals