Showing posts with label Porpoise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Porpoise. Show all posts

Nov 23, 2012

Dolphins and Porpoises

Many people confuse the two, so here is a summary of the differences of these mammals.

Top Porpoise, bottom Dolphin
Feature Dolphin Characteristic Difference in a Porpoise
The nose A dolphin usually has a pointed snout (beak)

A porpoise snout is short and blunt like a cartoon fish sketch
(never strongly pointed)
The fin
(Some species of both have no fin on their back)
The leading edge of the fin on a dolphin's back is shaped like a curling wave
(Called the dorsal fin)
The leading edge of a porpoise's back fin is straight.

The porpoise's fin is also triangular like a shark's

The teeth

Dolphins have pointed cone-shaped teeth

Porpoise teeth are flat, spade shaped, with upper edges that are long and sharp
Size Dolphins grow up to 12 feet long Porpoises are usually less than 7 feet long
Shape Dolphins are longer and sleeker in shape Porpoises are shorter and more compact
Sounds Dolphins produce sounds we can hear (and are talkative!) Porpoise sounds are inaudible to us
Behavior Dolphins have much less fear of humans - will ride the waves alongside boats Porpoises are shy - you are much less likely to see one - wild or captive.
Rarely seen at surface unless up to breathe.
Groups Dolphins live in large groups Porpoises live in pods of 2 - 4
Lifespan Dolphins can live for more than 50 years Porpoises do not live long past the age of 15

Dolphins are some of the only animals known to have sex for reasons other than reproduction.