Ganges River dolphin

Platanista gangetica

Local name - Shushuk


The body of the endangered shushuk is gray or light brown. Bellies of young animals are lighter and often have a pinkish hue. These river dolphins have a long snout with numerous narrow pointed teeth. Their eyes are extremely small and visible as pin-hole openings slightly above the upturned mouth. The blowhole is a small slit, which is rare but not unique among cetaceans. The dorsal fin is a low triangular hump. The shushuk has large, broad flippers.


The Ganges River dolphins are threatened in Bangladesh from the effects of dams, large embankment schemes, dredging, fisheries by-catch, directed hunting, and water pollution. Local people are familiar with these dolphins swimming in rivers throughout the country and fishermen generally regard them favorably as their companions.