Sunday, September 02, 2007
I came by this pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) skull several years ago on a deserted beach on the Arapiuns River, very near where the river flows into the Tapajós River. The crewmen of our riverboat were the first to see the dolphin bones, even though we were quite a distance out in the river. They were just as excited over the find as the rest of us because botos (the indigenous word for pink dolphins) are associated with much superstition in the Amazon. Before I knew what was going on, the crew had already dismantled the sun-dried bones looking for good luck amulets. These can include almost any parts of the skeleton but the real prizes are the eyeballs and the penis bone of the animal. Although a few of the teeth were removed, I ended up salvaging the head, which has been in my cranium collection at the Bosque for all these years. I have a penis bone too (in the collection) but I think I brought it back to Santarém from the Ver-O-Peso marketplace in Belém.