Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest by Sy Montgomery

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By Sy Montgomery

Through the acclaimed writer of The Soul of an Octopus and the bestselling memoir the great sturdy Pig.

When Sy Montgomery ventured into the Amazon to free up the mysteries of the littleknown purple dolphins, she stumbled on old whales that plied the Amazon River at sunrise and nightfall, swam via treetops in flooded forests, and played underwater ballets with their versatile our bodies. yet she quickly figured out that to grasp the botos, because the dolphins are in the neighborhood known as, you need to additionally understand the folk who stay between them.

And so in trip of the red Dolphins, Montgomery―part naturalist, half poet, half Indiana Jones―winds her method via watery tributaries and riverside villages, looking for botos and listening to the stories of locals who think those airy dolphins are shape-shifters―creatures that emerge from the water as wonderfully dressed males or ladies simply to enchant their human onlookers, seize their souls, after which hold them away to the Encante, an underwater global. Montgomery takes readers on 4 separate trips, exploring the river-dwelling dolphins’ common background, chronicling their conservation pressures, unraveling their prehistoric roots, and vacationing with shamans who delve into the Encante.

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Thus, on the basis of their restricted ranges, we can guess that the Island (Aphelocoma insularis) and Florida (A. coerulescens) Scrub-Jays differentiated from the more widely distributed West­ ern Scrub-Jay (A. califomica) when small populations of their shared ancestor be­ came isolated. Over time, different mutations accumulated in the three pop­ ulations, resulting in the differences we see today. Geographic isolation is not the only isolating mechanism. For example, time can also isolate an ancestral population from its descendants.

The Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura), which has an exceptionally large olfactory bulb, locates carrion by detecting the odor of a chemical (ethyl mercaptan) that is emitted by rotting meat. Many tubenoses likewise use olfaction to locate food at sea, and if their nostrils are plugged some can­ not find their nest burrows in the dark. A final sense that has been studied in birds is the ability to detect Earth's mag­ netic field and to use this information for navigation. Experiments have not clearly determined the exact mechanism involved, nor have they revealed exactly how birds process magnetic information.

The temperature at which the hybrid DNA separates can be used to infer how similar the two types of DNA are, since a better match requires a higher tempera­ ture to separate. This temperature can be used as a measure of how genetically similar the two kinds of birds are. Charles Sibley and Jon Ahlquist used this approach to create a phylogeny (pat­ tern of evolutionary history) of birds that differs in many ways from traditional classifications. Some of their conclusions about relationships among birds have been accepted-for example, that the storks and New World vultures are very closely related.

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