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Boto: Iniidae

Saved By Bad Luck

Along the South American rivers where the botos live, the dolphin is associated with unhappiness. The boto is said to turn into a man at night, one who seduces young girls and impregnates them. The boto is also said to turn into a lovely girl who leads men into the river and takes them away forever. Seeing a boto is supposed to be bad luck and burning boto oil in a lamp is supposed to make people who look at the lamp go blind. The boto's connection to bad luck and unhappy events may have helped save it, since the boto has never been hunted for oil or food.

Botos also eat small turtles, mollusks (hard shelled animals like clams), freshwater shrimp, and crabs. Other species of dolphins have only sharp cone-shaped teeth. Botos have this type of tooth, but also have some teeth that are modified for grinding. This allows them to eat a wide variety of food.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsBoto: Iniidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Saved By Bad Luck, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, BOTOS AND PEOPLE