Find out more about a dolphin's fins and a porpoise's purpose below!
Dolphins and Porpoises may not seem all that different when you view them in the water.
But if you look a little closer, you can notice some distinct differences between these two unique species.
Both dolphins and porpoises originate from a lineage of of warm blooded, carnivorous ocean creatures, a lineage they share with whales, seals and sea lions in the order Cetacea (derived from the Greek word Ketos, meaning "large sea creature"). Both species also belong to the suborder Odontoceti, a group of animals known as the "toothed whales."
Porpoises and dolphins share some common characteristics as well. They have similar body shapes, and often are found foraging and swimming in the same parts of the ocean. They are also both highly intelligent and use echolocation to interact with other members of their family or "pod" over large distances under water.
When it comes to behavior, attitude and lifestyle, these two animals show some distinct differences. Check out how dolphins and porpoises compare in our "porpoise"ful comparisons chart!
Video By Bioexpedition.
Did you know…
that both Porpoises and Dolphins can end up as prey for another species of Dolphin?
The largest species of dolphin on the planet actually go by the name "Killer whale" or Orcinus Orca in fancy latin!
Orcas are notoriously efficient team predators, meaning that they often work together to herd and hunt other marine mammals, like seals, sea lions and even porpoises and dolphins. Check out this amazing video of Pacific White Sided Dolphins being hunted by a hungry pod of Orcas!
Video courtesy of youtube from 11MOAX.
NOAA online. Last Updated March 14, 2014. "What's the difference between dolphins and porpoises?"Retrieved March 28 2014. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/dolphin_porpoise.html
Wonderopolis."How Are Dolphins and Porpoises Different?"Retrieved March 28 2014. http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/whats-the-difference-between-dolphins-and-porpoises/
BC Cetacean Sightings Network. June 17, 2013. "Dolphin Vs. Porpoise: What's the Difference?" Retrieved March 28, 2014.
Diffen: Compare Anything Site. 2014. "Dolphin Vs. Porpoise." Retrieved March 28, 2014. http://www.diffen.com/difference/Dolphin_vs_Porpoise
Dolphins World Online. 2014. "What is the Difference Between A Dolphin and A Porpoise?" Retreived April 2, 2014.
Andrew Murgatroyd BSc.
Asta Mail MSc.