Toninha

Toninha (Pontoporia blainvillei) or Boto-amarelo, Boto-cachimbo, Franciscana, is the La Plata Dolphin, found along the Brazilian coast and the Río de la Plata estuary. Males grow to 1.6 m and females to 1.8 m. The body is a greyish brown colour, with a lighter underside. The flippers are also very large in comparison with body size and are very broad, but narrow on joining the body and so are almost triangular in shape. It weighs up to 50 kg and lives for up to 20 years. The Toninha moves very smoothly and slowly and can be difficult to spot unless estuary conditions are very calm. They will commonly swim alone or in small groups. Toninhas feed from at least 24 different species of fish, and will also take octopus, squid and shrimp. They are hunted by orca and several species of shark. The Toninha is listed as “Vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.