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An Amazon river dolphin at Duisburg Zoo.
Amazon river dolphin size.svg
Size compared to an average human
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Superfamily: Inioidea
Family: Iniidae
Gray, 1846

see text

Iniidae is a family of river dolphins containing one living and four extinct genera.

The dentition of Iniidae dolphins is heterodont,[citation needed] having conical, small teeth. The teeth extend lingually in the back and in the front they have a small depression on the side of each, these mammals are carnivorous, finding prey by using echolocation.

Breeding for Iniidae dolphins is seasonal, and varies according to food availability and water levels. A single offspring is produced per season, the gestation period is approximately 11 months, and they can produce offspring every year and a half. The lactation period is long, and calves stay with mothers for a few years before becoming independent, the age of maturity is unknown, but thought to be at a few years old. Mating systems of this family are unknown, but scientists do know that females take after the young and look to be the limiting factor, which suggests a polygynous system.


The family was described by John Edward Gray in 1846.[1]

Current classifications include a single living genera, Inia, with one to three[2] species and several subspecies, the family also includes three extinct genera described from fossils found in South America, Florida, Libya, and Italy.[1]


  1. ^ a b The paleobiology Database
  2. ^ Hrbek, Tomas; Da Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira; Dutra, Nicole; Gravena, Waleska; Martin, Anthony R.; Farias, Izeni Pires (2014-01-22). Turvey, Samuel T., ed. "A New Species of River Dolphin from Brazil or: How Little Do We Know Our Biodiversity". PLOS ONE. 9: e83623. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083623. PMC 3898917Freely accessible. PMID 24465386. 

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