Amazon River dolphin love fetishes: From folklore to molecular forensics. Marine Mammal Science. 24(4): 969–978.

Project Details

Date : 2008
Volunteer Name : Waleska Gravena, Tomas Hrbek, Vera M. F. Da Silva and Izeni P. Farias

Project Description

Abstract: Traditional Amazonian folklore includes a host of supernatural beings believed to protect its forests and rivers. One of the most powerful and widely recognized of these beings is the Amazon River dolphin Inia geoffrensis, or boto. The boto is traditionally viewed as a mischievous and tempestuous being, both feared and respected. The most sensational folklore concerning botos is that they transform themselves at dusk into handsome Caucasian men, who are skilled at dancing and seducing young women. Botos are also believed to at times enter boats or households, paralyzing their occupants to engage in sexual intercourse. Before first light, the boto returns back into water, reverting into its dolphin form (Cravalho 1999). Indeed, unexpected teenage pregnancies in the Amazon region have been traditionally attributed to seduction by the boto (Cravalho 1999).