~ The Finless Porpoise ~

The Finless Porpoise is a light colored Asian porpoise distinguished by its lack of a dorsal fin. Instead, it has a low ridge that runs the length of its back. It is one of the smallest cetaceans with males averaging 5 to 6 feet in length and females averaging 4 to 5 feet in length. Its bulbous forehead makes it look a little like a tiny Beluga.

Finless porpoises often travel in groups of up to 10 individuals, and can be found feeding in rivers, estuaries, and mangroves where fresh and salt water mingle. They also will travel upriver and out to sea, but most never travel more than 3 miles from shore.

Like the closely related Dall's porpoise, the Finless porpoise is an active animal and can often be seen darting from side to side as part of its routine. Usually only one or two are seen at one time, but groups of up to 50 individuals have been reported in feeding areas.

Finless porpoises sometime spyhop, and at such times their eyes can be seen. About half of all Finless porpoises have bright pink eyes.

This porpoise has suffered considerable habitat destruction from shipping traffic, dams, and pollution. It is expected that the tremendous human population growth in Asia will continue to have an impact on this species for decades to come.


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