Dolphin vs Porpoise (Difference Between Dolphin and Porpoise)

dolphin vs porpoise | porpoise facts

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoise are marine mammals that are closely related to each other. Dolphins belong to the Delphinidae family while the porpoise belongs to the Phocoenidae family. However, many people may not be able to differentiate between the two. Today, in this article, we will compare the difference in dolphin and porpoise marine creatures.

What Does a Dolphin Look Like?

Dolphins are highly intelligent creatures that have smooth skin, flippers, and a dorsal fin. They have a long, slender snout and around 100 teeth, with a streamlined body. The single blow-hole at the top of their head has a flap that opens to reveal a pair of nostrils that they use to breathe when they surface. On each side of their head, they have an eye that moves independently of the other. Which means dolphins can see ahead, front, and behind. Dolphins have tiny ear holes. Still, they are best known for their hearing capacity. 

Where Does a Dolphin Live?

Dolphins are marine animals; they habitat in the shallow areas of tropical and temperate oceans all over the world. 

How Many Species of Dolphins are There?

There are 43 different recognized species of dolphins; 38 are marine dolphins, and the remaining 5 are river dolphins. 

What is the Size of the Dolphin?

The largest and heaviest is the Orca, also known as the killer whale. These species can measure from 23 to 32 feet long and weigh up to 8.3 tons. The smallest dolphin species are Hector’s dolphin. However, an adult dolphin can have a total length of 3 feet 11 inches to 5 feet 3 inches and can weigh 88 to 132 pounds. 

What Does a Dolphin Eat?

Dolphins feed on a variety of creatures like herring, cod, or mackerel, and squids. However, some of the larger dolphins like the killer whales feed on seals or sea lions and even turtles. An adult dolphin can eat around 4 to 9 percent of its body weight in fish, and so we can assume that a dolphin weighing 550 pounds will eat 20 to 50 pounds of fish each day.

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How High Does Dolphins Jump?

Dolphins can jump as high as 30 feet above the water’s surface.

Dolphin Reproduction:

Dolphins do not have a specific breeding season. They can reproduce at any time. In particular locations, the highest mating activities have been observed during both spring and autumn seasons. The gestation period in dolphins is considered in nine months, but it can also reach up to 17 months. Dolphins yield young calves in shallow waters. Dolphins usually give birth to one calf; the mother takes it to the surface for its first breath and will nurse the calf with her milk for around 12 months. 

Interesting Facts About Dolphins:

  • Dolphins can fascinate humans in several ways.
  • They are curious mammals form strong bonds within their pods and have been known to help humans in various circumstances, including rescues and fishing.
  • They have to come up to the surface to get air at different intervals. The duration can be from 20 seconds to 30 minutes when they get air.
  • These marine mammals cannot go into full deep because they are conscious to breathe. 
  • Dolphins can let their one-half brain sleep at a time determined by conducting EGG studies on them.
  • All the dolphins make the sound that travels underwater bounces off something and then returns to them as echoes. This echolocation also allows them to find predators, even in the dark ocean.
  • While feeding, all the dolphins work as a team to get the fish’s school surrounded and wrap up. From there, they can dig through the middle and eat.
  • Dolphins help other dolphins when they are sick, hurt, or giving birth.
  • The smaller species of dolphins have few predators such as bull shark, tiger shark, and great white shark. 
  • Dolphins have several forms of developed communication, among which signature whistle allows other individuals to recognize them.
  • These marine mammals can hear a high range of frequencies than humans. They can listen to from 20 to 150 kHz, which is seven times more sensitive than human ears.
  • Dolphins do not drink seawater; they get water from the fish they eat.

Dolphin Behavior:  

Dolphins are social mammals and prefer to live in pods that consist of dozens of individuals. Although the pod size can vary depending on species and locations. In areas, where they can find an abundance of food can merge, forming a super-pod that may exceed 1,000 dolphins. 

How Long do Dolphins Live?

The average lifespan of dolphins is from 20 to 90 years, depending on species. 

Are Dolphins Endangered?

According to the IUCN, the dolphins are listed as endangered. The statistics suggest that more dolphins are killed by illegal dynamite fishing, caught in a fishing net, collisions with boats, and marine pollution.

What Does a Porpoise Look Like?

Porpoise belongs to Cetacea’s order and is related to dolphins, but these two species differ from each other. Like dolphins, porpoises have sleek bodies, large flippers, slender and bony bodies. However, these species differ in many ways, such as porpoise, which does not have elongated beaks. Porpoise has triangular dorsal fins, and their teeth are shaped like a spade. 

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Where Do Porpoises Live?

Different porpoise species habitat in different regions according to their adaptations, Such as the Gulf of California porpoise, found around the northern part of the Gulf of California. Black porpoises live off the coasts of eastern and western South America. The common porpoise prefers to live in the cold water, but habitat to the east coast of North America around Southern Greenland. However, some finless porpoises can be seen in the Yellow sea. 

How Many Species of Porpoise are There?

There are seven different species of porpoise. They are-

  • Harbour porpoise
  • Vaquita porpoise
  • Burmeister’s porpoise
  • Spectacled porpoise
  • Indo-pacific finless porpoise
  • Narrow-ridged finless porpoise 
  • Dall’s porpoise

What is the Size of the Porpoise? 

Porpoises are smaller than dolphins. They grow to 5 to 6.5 feet long and weigh from 110 to 265 pounds. 

What Does a Porpoise Eat?

Depending on the species, the diet of porpoise varies, but their primary diet consists of fish, octopus, squid, and crustaceans. Porpoises are also considered as big eaters. They consume about ten percent of their body weight each day.

How Fast Can a Porpoise Swim?

The Dall’s porpoise is one of the fastest marine mammals that can swim at a speed of 30 miles per hour.

Porpoise Reproduction:

Not much is known about the reproductive behavior of porpoises. But as porpoises are mammals, they gave live births. The gestation period in these species lies for 10 to 11 months yielding a single offspring. The young ones are called pups or calves. The calves are nursed for around 24 months.

Interesting Facts About Porpoises:

  • The harbor porpoise name is correct to its habitat; they like to stay in water that no deeper than 500 feet along the coastline.
  • Finless porpoises appear to be black, but they are grey with bits of blue.
  • These mammals are highly intelligent creatures that can learn many tricks while living in captivity.
  • They use echolocation to avoid collision with underwater objects and searching for food. 
  • The main predators of these creatures include sharks and killer whales.
  • Porpoises are known to produce low-frequency sounds that are used for communication.
  • Like dolphins, porpoise also lives in groups called shoals that can consist of couple members to thousands.

How Long Does Porpoise Live?

Some of the porpoise species live for less than ten years, while some are known to survive for 20 years.

Are Porpoise Endangered?

The vaquita porpoise is classified as critically, endangered species under the IUCN. At the same time, the fin less and Indo-pacific porpoise is listed as vulnerable. However, other species are either considered as vulnerable or have no classification. 

Porpoise versus Dolphin: Fight Comparison

In a fight comparison between dolphins and porpoise, dolphins can win because of its vast size and aggressive behavior. A bottlenose dolphin has been seen flipping a porpoise into the air. As we have discussed above that porpoises are smaller in format, they cannot beat a dolphin. 

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