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Nearly 400 new species are discovered in the Amazon

Along the Araguaia and Tocantins Rivers, there is a species of fresh-water dolphin that is different from dolphins in other regions of the Amazon: the Araguaian river dolphin (Inia araguaiaensis), described in 2014 by researchers from the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM) and the National Institute for Research on the Amazon (INPA), using dolphins captured in 2009 and 2010. Their skin is gray to pink in color and their body length ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 meters. They have long snouts and a prominent forehead. Genetically, they are different from the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), which is abundant throughout the region, and the Bolivian river dolphin (Inia boliviensis), found in a smaller area in the south of the Amazon. The Araguaian river dolphin is one of the 381 new species of animals and plants in the Amazon that are part of the inventory presented in late August 2017 by WWF-Brazil, a nongovernmental organization, and the Mamirauá Institute, a research organization that has links with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications. The document contains only those new species that were described in 2014 and 2015, including a bird: the Chico’s tyrannulet (Zimmerius chicomendesi); and a monkey: the Milton’s titi or fire-tailed titi monkey (Plecturocebus miltoni), which has a light-gray forehead stripe, a dark ochre throat and side whiskers, and an orange tail. This is the third edition of the inventory. The first included about 1,200 new species identified from 1999 to 2009, and the second had 602 discoveries from 2010 to 2013.