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Franciscana Dolphin: Pontoporiidae

Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation StatusGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, FRANCISCANA DOLPHINS AND PEOPLE

Franciscana dolphins are found in the Atlantic Ocean along the coasts of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina in South America. Their northern boundary is near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and their southern boundary is the Valdes Peninsula in Argentina. Their distribution within this range is uneven. In some places they are rare or absent, and in others they are more common.

Franciscana dolphins are usually found within 33 miles (53 kilometers) of shore in waters no more than 30 feet (10 meters) deep. Often they are found in muddy, murky water with poor visibility. They seem to prefer estuaries, which are places where rivers empty into the ocean and fresh water mixes with salt water.

Franciscana dolphins are shy and rarely intentionally interact with people. However, these dolphins are sometimes caught in fishing nets. In these cases, their oil is used in tanning leather, and their flesh is used as pig feed or shark bait.

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Animal Life ResourceMammals