Page 105, NG JUNE 2009

River dolphin have no predators, except for humans, In December 2006 the Yangtze river dolphin, called the baiji, succumbed to pollution, propeller blades, dams, and overfishing; it became the first cetacean to be declared “functionally” extinct — meaning the species cannot renew itself, even if a specimen or two still exist. “Losing the baiji is like taking a chain saw to the cetacean tree of life,” says Hamilton. “We’ve lost 20 million years of independent evolution.”

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