Pretty in Pink

pink Chinese dolphinThe waters of the South China Sea are home to around a thousand Sousa chinensis or Indo-pacific Humpback dolphins, a cetacean species that’s typically white, gray, or pale yellow in most regions of the world where it’s found, such as South Africa & northern Australia.   But in the Pearl River Delta, between Hong Kong & Macau, these dolphins have taken on a bubble-gum hue.

Yup, Hong Kong’s dolphins are pink!

Scientists are not fully certain why the Indo-pacific Humpback dolphins living off Hong Kong’s coasts are pink, although they have several theories.   They speculate that a lack of natural predators (namely sharks) in the brackish water where rivers meet the sea negates their need for camouflage or that the pink coloring is a byproduct of blushing, the flushing of blood to the skin, used to regulate body temperature.

For more info & photos, visit the Hong Kong Dolphinwatch site.

Update:   There’s also a rare pink bottlenose dolphin that was sighted recently in southwestern Louisiana.