Remember the Rainforest 1
the working class. Here, in the Negro River, for poor men, the dried fish costs only 500 “escudos”; Their fishery, however, becomes so much more profitable, the greater their quantity that they can export to the southern provinces.
The other smaller fish are salted and dried in much smaller proportions, but in higher numbers are consumed fresh. Many species of fish here, especially the class of the salmons, are of excellent taste.
The fishing of Pirarucu is explored with greater advantage in the months when the river empties, and the same happens with the Dolphins (Delphinus Amazonicus, nobis) (note III),
Dolphin, Delphinus Amazonicus
which appeared to us so much more abundant in the waters of the Amazon, the more we proceeded West. We decided to weigh both these animals for our collection, and on the first day we caught a great dolphin, that the Muras had harpooned.
These porpoises inhabit the clear and deep pools of the river and its tributaries, particularly at the points where the margins are of stone or of compact clay. Herds of them often appeared to us in these places, swimming like arrows on the surface of the river, plunging and cutting through the water, when they resurfaced.
Pink Amazon dolphin
They sometimes raise not just their pointy snout above the water, but also a part of their hairless body, from seven to eight feet long. They feed not only on fish, but also any fruit falling in the river, for example, wild Sapucaias,
Sapucaias, the Lecythis pisonis
or pull the fruit from Labatia macrocarpa. Many times the Amazon's dolphin has been considered identical to Delphinus Phocaena, L., which differs more sharply by the lesser snout.
Perhaps the diversity of the "habitat " might explain why there were gathered two species of very different animals. While the average temperature of the ocean, in the most northern latitude, the "Habitat " of the Delphinus Phocaena, is only a few degrees above the point of freezing, this mammal lives here in the waters of the Amazon, whose temperature almost never comes below 20 ° R. Moreover, for the inhabitants bordering the Amazon, the dolphin is less desirable than the other large marine animals, because of its somewhat oily flavor. Also the store of white lard, which has it under its skin, is less abundant than that of the manatee.
In its thick leather shields and in the cavity of the cranium the brave Indians guard their parica or the powder of Ipadu, perfectly preserved.
The animal remains of the fishery had attracted large quantities of crocodiles, which, sometimes swimming peacefully from one side to the other, sometimes beating the water with the tail or alternately plunging and rising up, did not seem to fear the proximity of the men who were working.