Soon after the project was abandoned. China counted 1,012 Yangtze finless porpoises in 2017, down from 2,500 in 1991, and the numbers are falling by about 10 per cent a year.  CIRVA has worked together with the CITES, the Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to nurse the vaquita population back to a point at which they can sustain themselves. The calf is dependent for one to two years, and maturity occurs after seven to ten years, all varying between species. The problem with the waves that attract is that the animal may be injured or even killed by being hit by the vessel or its propeller. The Yangtze finless porpoise is the only known freshwater finless porpoise in the world. Protective measures in the Tian-e-Zhou Oxbow Nature Reserve has increased its population of porpoises from five to forty in 25 years. His detailed descriptions were assimilated by the Romans, but mixed with a more accurate knowledge of the dolphins, as mentioned by Pliny the Elderin his “Natural history”. The finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides and N. asiaeorientalis) are small slow-moving inhabitants of coastal waters and rivers along the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean.Black above and white below, finless porpoises have a rounded head. Find more ways to say porpoise, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. )The terms porpoise and dolphin are often used interchangeably. A pod of about 30 Yangtze finless porpoises were seen swimming in the Duchang Section of Poyang Lake in east China's Jiangxi Province last Monday. As a result, the animals are more susceptible to diseases and have fewer offspring. Its role is less clear in the case of the many … Researchers recognize seven different species of these of animals, including the Harbor, Dall’s, Finless, Narrow-Ridged Finless, Spectacled, and Burmeister’s Porpoise, and the Vaquita. The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), literally “little cow” in Spanish, is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez, Vermilion Sea).Averaging 150 cm (for females) or 140 cm (for males) in length, it is the smallest of all living cetaceans. POP for a Porpoise (Prevent Ocean Plastics) is an educational program presented by the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) which aims to educate kids about the plastic ocean pollution epidemic. Similar to the navy, some boats produce waves that attract porpoises, while others may repel them. Hector's dolphin) also lack a pronounced beak. There are 75 species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises living in the ocean. Whales and porpoises are also mammals. These marine mammals have many things in common. The common name is derived from the Latin porcus (“hog” or “pig”) and piscinus (“fish”), as their flesh was said to taste somewhat like pork. Active and gregarious, it often rides the bow waves of ships. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises all fall under the order cetacea.Within this order, there are two suborders, the Mysticeti, or baleen whales, and the odontoceti, or toothed whales, which includes dolphins and porpoises as well as sperm whales. , As part of last-ditch effort of saving the extremely rare vaquita (the tiny remaining population is rapidly declining because of bycatch in gillnets), there have been attempts of transferring some to captivity. Calving takes place entirely under water, with the foetus positioned for tail-first delivery to help prevent drowning. In whales, and other marine mammals, there is no great difference between the outer and inner environments.  A majority of factors of this population decline are being driven by the massive growth in Chinese industry since 1990 which caused increased shipping and pollution and ultimately environmental degradation. This may lead to a bubbling out of blood gases, and the animal then dies because the blood vessels become blocked, so-called decompression sickness. Both were stranded individuals that only survived a few days after their rescue.  This milk contains high amounts of fat, which aids in the development of blubber; it contains so much fat that it has the consistency of toothpaste. Definitely one of the strangest looking marine mammals, the spectacled porpoise (Phocoena dioptrica) is also one of the least well known.Rare photograph of a spectacled porpoise breaching. / ˈpɔːr.pəs / uk. Nearly half of these died within a month of diseases caught before they were captured or from damage sustained during capture. Flipper movement is continuous. The pilot whale, harbor porpoise, and bottlenosed dolphin are all pelagic animals, which forage at a variety of depths. Both species are considered vulnerable; however, the population of the Yangtze finless porpoise (N. asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis), a subspecies of narrow-ridged finless porpoise found only in the Yangtze River, has declined significantly since 1984. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Although \"dolphin\" and \"porpoise\" are often used interchangeably, the term porpoise should refer only to the Phocoenidae family, in which there are seven porpoise species. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Many porpoises, mainly the vaquita, are subject to great mortality due to gillnetting.  They died in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Whale Trackers – An online documentary series about whales, dolphins and porpoises. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porpoise&oldid=991283801, Articles with unsourced statements from December 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 07:16.  His detailed descriptions were assimilated by the Romans, but mixed with a more accurate knowledge of the dolphins, as mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his “Natural history”. ... looking out for porpoise, enjoying homemade waffles just chatting with Siv and the incredible pleasant and congenial owners of Goxsheim Charles and Natasha and cuddle with Lenin (the ship's cat - he is also red!). Any of several related aquatic mammals, such as the dolphins.  In addition, the Harbour porpoise is covered by the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS), the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) and the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia. The ancient Greeks recognized that cetaceans breathe air, give birth to live young, produce milk, and have hair—all features of mammals. The porpoise is a marine mammal. By 2020, ecologists had estimated that no more than 18 adults remained. This is a Vaquita. Among the three rescues, one (father of world's first harbour porpoise born in captivity) lived for 20 years in captivity and another 15 years, while the third (mother of first born in captivity) was still alive in 2018 after 20 years. The porpoise is … They may also eat benthic invertebrates. From the Cambridge English Corpus The arrival of pelagic—mid-water—trawlers also coincides with the washing up of huge numbers of dead dolphins, porpoises and whales. To catch a porpoise in the sea indicates a situation at work. Porpoises are placed either in their own family, Phocoenidae, or with the dolphins in the family Delphinidae. Up until 1984, none lived for more than 14 months. Porpoises, belonging to the Phocoenidae family, are smaller and stouter, with other anatomical differences.Though both animals are very intelligent, dolphins are deemed to be more social and live in larger, more stable groups. Incidental mortality caused by the fleet of El Golfo de Santa Clara was estimated to be at around 39 vaquitas per year, which is over 17% of the population size. Dolphins are by far more prevalent than porpoises. There have also been efforts to study porpoise biology to help specialize conservation through captivation breeding. Porpoises are in fact often confused with dolphins. Their stomachs also contained some deep-sea benthic organisms. For one, the back of a porpoise is darker than its stomach. It is found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and is hunted in some regions. And as with the other whales and dolphins, when these animals are born, they have a few little whiskers just around their snout. In Aristotle's time, the 4th century BCE, porpoises were regarded as fish due to their superficial similarity. Today, the species is on the brink of extinction. Learn more. 3. With Less than 10 Left, It’s the Rarest Marine Mammal on Earth . hamsun.at. During the Middle Ages this animal was considered a royal delicacy. Nothing is known about the diet of the spectacled porpoise. The NMMF is a key partner in VaquitaCPR (Conservation, Protection, & Recovery), a consortium comprised of marine mammal scientists, veterinarians, and biologists from around the world that came together to attempt to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction. Their skull has small eye orbits, small, blunt snouts, and eyes placed on the sides of the head. If you consider that, dolphins and porpoises are … It is known that populations in the mouth of the Indus River migrate to the sea from April through October to feed on the annual spawning of prawns.  Populations of harbor porpoises in the North and Baltic Seas are under increasing pressure from anthropogenic causes such as offshore construction, ship traffic, fishing, and military exercises. The Yangtze finless porpoise is the only known freshwater finless porpoise in the world. , Porpoises and other smaller cetaceans have traditionally been hunted in many areas for their meat and blubber. When porpoises surface, their lens and cornea correct the nearsightedness that results from the refraction of light; their eyes contain both rod and cone cells, meaning they can see in both dim and bright light. A cousin of the baiji dolphin, it is the only porpoise in the world that lives in freshwater and faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild. Corrections? Some species are well adapted for diving to great depths. Vaquitas are found only near the northern end of the Gulf of California. Vaquitas, rare porpoises that live off the coast of Mexico, have been dying in droves, because the animals get caught in fishing nets. Rare species such as True’s beaked whales and spotted dolphins are also seen along the shore. This can help them get away from some predators as well. Much of the findings that apply to all cetaceans were first discovered in porpoises. The harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of seven species of porpoise.  The reopened Miyajima Public Aquarium (Japan) houses three finless porpoises. The differences between porpoises and dolphins include having different types of teeth and the fact that the bones in the skulls of porpoises are symmetrical, while the bones of dolphin skulls are asymmetrical. However, some have preferences between different kinds of fish, indicating some sort of attachment to taste. In North America the name is sometimes applied to dolphins. Little is known about reproductive behaviour. A porpoise is a cetacean, like whales and dolphins, and is definitely a mammal. A porpoise is a marine mammal. A porpoise is a wonderful marine mammal, and to dream of seeing this aquatic mammal is a positive omen. This helps them to blend into their watery environment. Another word for porpoise. Also, like all mammals, dolphins even have a tiny amount of hair, right around the blowhole. At Mammal mamas "rescue" is a family matter. , Small numbers of Dall's porpoises have been kept in captivity in both the United States and Japan, with the most recent being in the 1980s. In Aristotle's time, the 4th century BCE, porpoises were regarded as fish due to their superficial similarity.  Breathing involves expelling stale air from the blowhole, forming an upward, steamy spout, followed by inhaling fresh air into the lungs. “It may be too little too late, but what they are doing is unprecedented,” Todd Robeck, author of a recent study into the Yangtze porpoise, said of the effort to save the mammal. Porpoises range in size from the vaquita, at 1.4 metres (4 feet 7 inches) in length and 54 kilograms (119 pounds) in weight, to the Dall's porpoise, at 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in) and 220 kg (490 lb). , Porpoises eat a wide variety of creatures. Unlike human teeth, which are composed mostly of enamel on the portion of the tooth outside of the gum, whale teeth have cementum outside the gum. In rare cases, algae, such as Ulva lactuca, is consumed. The tube in the head, through which this kind fish takes its breath and spitting water, located in front of the brain and ends outwardly in a simple hole, but inside it is divided by a downward bony septum, as if it were two nostrils; but underneath it opens up again in the mouth in a void. The large bulge on top of the porpoises head is caused by the melon. It came to worldwide attention in the 1970s when it was disclosed for the first time to the public that salmon fishing trawls were killing thousands of Dall’s porpoises and other cetaceans each year by accidentally capturing them in their nets. A dominant hunting technique is drive hunting, where a pod of animals is driven together with boats and usually into a bay or onto a beach. Burmeister’s porpoise (P. spinipinnis) has blunt tubercles on its dorsal fin and lives off the coasts of eastern and western South America. Porpoises are placed either in their own family, Phocoenidae, or with the dolphins in the family Delphinidae. In contrast to many dolphin species, porpoises do not form large social groups. Law enforcement officers saw the aquatic mammals frolicking in the water and chasing each other around when patrolling the lake. , The porpoise ear has specific adaptations to the marine environment. Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio. The NMMF is a key partner in VaquitaCPR (Conservation, Protection, & Recovery), a consortium comprised of marine mammal scientists, veterinarians, and biologists from around the world that came together to attempt to save the vaquita porpoise from extinction. All mammals sleep, but porpoises cannot afford to become unconscious for long because they may drown. A porpoise looks like a fish, but is really a mammal. While there are many more species of dolphin out there — 32 species compared to the six known porpoise species — they both belong, like whales, to a group of marine mammals called Cetacea (from the Greek work ketos, “large sea creature”), the closest living relative of which are hippopotamuses. There maybe a challenging time in the future. porpoise: Any of various marine toothed whales of the genus Phocoena and related genera, characteristically having a blunt snout and a triangular dorsal fin. The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), literally “little cow” in Spanish, is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez, Vermilion Sea). for example star-fish, cuttle-fish, jelly-fish and whale-fish).  In addition to the few kept in Europe, harbour porpoise were displayed at the Vancouver Aquarium (Canada) until recently. This melon consists of fat, and the skull of any such creature containing a melon will have a large depression. As amended by the Conference of the Parties in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008", "HELCOM Red List of Baltic Sea species in danger of becoming extinct", "Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia", "The Yangtze Finless Porpoise: On an Accelerating Path to Extinction? Marine mammals that make use of biosonar for orientation and communication are not only hindered by the extra noise, but may race to the surface in panic. Even the 1975 Florida legislature, adopting the creature as the official saltwater mammal, left the issue open, designating the "porpoise, also commonly known as the dolphin," (Tursiops truncates. The spectacled porpoise (P. dioptrica) is named for the patchlike pigmentation pattern around its eyes and is distributed throughout the southern Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans.  As part of an attempt of saving the narrow-ridged (or Yangtze) finless porpoise, several are kept in the Baiji Dolphinarium in China.  Overall, they tend to be dwarfed by other cetaceans. Since the extinction of the baiji, the vaquita is considered the most endangered cetacean. All but two were incidental catches in fishing nets or strandings. Like other mammals, porpoises have defensive features that help them escape predators. While population decline tracked from 1994 to 2008 has been pegged at a rate of 6.06% annually, from 2006 to 2012, the porpoise population decreased by more than half. Porpoise definition: A porpoise is a sea animal that looks like a large grey fish . The oldest fossils are known from the shallow seas around the North Pacific, with animals spreading to the European coasts and Southern Hemisphere only much later, during the Pliocene. In porpoise. , Porpoises are fully aquatic creatures. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... dolphins, and porpoises. The finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides and N. asiaeorientalis) are small slow-moving inhabitants of coastal waters and rivers along the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean. The vaquita, or cochito (P. sinus), is listed as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In … Both became distressed and were rapidly released, but one of them died in the process. The vaquita nearly became extinct in the twentieth century, due to bycatch in gill nets, with a predicted population of fewer than 100 individuals. Suddenly the smooth water broke, and a porpoise arch Many mammals are dark dorsally and relatively pale ventrally, a pattern called countercoloration. Although porpoises do not possess fully developed hind limbs, they possess discrete rudimentary appendages, which may contain feet and digits. A porpoise in the Yangtze river, near Nanjing. A porpoise doesn’t use its spade-shaped teeth to … hamsun.at.  Very few harbour porpoises have been born in captivity. Law enforcement officers saw the aquatic mammals frolicking in the water and chasing each other around when patrolling the lake. noun [ C ] us. Almost all species have female-biased sexual dimorphism, with the females being larger than the males, although those physical differences are generally small; one exception is Dall's porpoise.. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Averaging 150 cm (for females) or 140 cm (for males) in length, it is the smallest of all living cetaceans.  It nevertheless referred to the porpoise as a fish, most likely not in the modern-day sense, where it refers to a zoolgical group, but the older reference as simply a creature of the sea (cf. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Porpoises are mammals. , The harbour porpoise, spectacled porpoise, Burmeister's porpoise, and Dall's porpoise are all listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). , –John Ray, 1671, the earliest description of cetacean airways. The porpoise family consists of three genera: Phocoena, Phocoenoides, and Neophocaena. The orca, or killer whale, for example, is actually the largest member of the dolphin family. Once they’ve moved on, cooler temperate species such as harbor porpoises and seals arrive for the winter and tend to stay until spring. It is found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere and is hunted in some regions. In Japan, sightings of small pods of them herding sand lance onto shore are common year-round. Porpoises in each ocean basin are reproductively isolated. A porpoise is a sea animal that looks like a large grey fish. The baby porpoise is called a calf, just like whales and dolphins which they are closely related to. Harbor porpoises, a marine mammal resembling dolphins, but in the same family as whales, have made several appearances in Utqiaġvik recently. Males play no part in rearing calves. Porpoises are recognised from dolphins by their flattened, spade-shaped teeth distinct from the conical teeth of dolphins, and lack of a pronounced beak, although some dolphins (e.g. This type of fishery for harbour porpoises is well documented from the Danish Straits, where it occurred regularly until the end of the 19th century, and picked up again during World war I and World War II. Porpoises feed largely on fish and squid, much like the rest of the odontocetes. It came to worldwide attention in the 1970s when it was disclosed for the first time to the public that salmon fishing trawls were killing thousands of Dall’s porpoises and other cetaceans each year by accidentally capturing them in their nets.  Harbour porpoises have a very long captive history, with poorly documented attempts as early as the 15th century, and better documented starting in the 1860s and 1870s in London Zoo, the now-closed Brighton Aquarium & Dolphinarium, and a zoo in Germany. Mammals are warm blooded, tetrapod vertebrates that have hair, nurse their young by producing milk, and have a limited number of teeth that are modified to perform different functions.  Their conservation statuses are either at least concern or data deficient. Porpoises, and other cetaceans, belong to the clade Cetartiodactyla with even-toed ungulates, and their closest living relatives are the hippopotamuses, having diverged from them about 40 million years ago. As of 1986, three establishments in Japan had bred them, and there had been five recorded births. There are two color types - the main difference is extent of white markings: one type has the white extending to the flippers, the other has white stopping well behind the flippers. Porpoises produce ultrasonic clicks, which are used for both navigation (echolocation) and social communication. Is it a porpoise, or is it a dolphin? Dall’s porpoise as fastest aquatic mammal is a species of porpoise found on the North Pacific. Porpoise, (family Phocoenidae), specifically, any of seven species of toothed whales distinguishable from dolphins by their more compact build, generally smaller size (maximum length about 2 metres, or 6.6 feet), and curved blunt snout with spatulate rather than conical teeth.  The first and only caught for captivity were two females in 2017. Dolphins have 80-100 sharp cone-like teeth, Porpoise does not have as many teeth as a dolphin. , Porpoises are highly affected by bycatch. Averaging 150 cm (4.9 ft) (females) or 140 cm (4.6 ft) (males) in length, it is the smallest of all living cetaceans.Today, the species is on … China counted 1,012 Yangtze finless porpoises in 2017, down from 2,500 in 1991, and the numbers are falling by about 10 per cent a year. Porpoises, however, are usually smaller and chubbier than dolphins and possess a shorter, more rounded snout. People use the terms dolphins, porpoises, and whales to describe marine mammals belonging to the order Cetacea (from the Greek work ketos, “large sea creature”), and often use them interchangeably. dolphins, and porpoises. Any toothed whale in the family Phocoenidae (or, by some authorities, part of the dolphin family Delphinidae). They’re further classified as toothed whales along with belugas, narwhals and sperm whales. It is one of the smallest marine mammals. It is usually seen in groups of 2 to 20 along the northern rim of the Pacific Ocean, where it eats squid and fish. Porpoises are mammals. Historically, harbour porpoises were often kept singly and those who were together often were not mature or of the same sex. A newly born Yangtze finless porpoise (center) swims with his mother (left) and brother at the Hydrobiology Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Members of the family Phocoenidae are related to the oceanic dolphins (family Delphinidae), river dolphins, and other toothed whales of the suborder Odontoceti. Atlantic porpoises are thought to follow the seasonal migration of bait fish, like herring, and their diet varies between seasons. Unlike their dolphin counterparts, they are adapted for coastal shores, bays, and estuaries. The Dall porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) is the largest porpoise and the only member of its genus. It is black with bright white sides and underside. NOW 50% OFF! As its name implies, it stays close to coastal areas or river estuaries, and as such, is the most familiar porpoise to whale watchers. Odontocetes possess teeth with cementum cells overlying dentine cells. Three calves died moments after their birth, but two survived for several years. Their flippers, for example, contain four digits. Let’s start with what they have in common: both dolphins and porpoises are cetaceans, an order of marine mammal that also includes whales. The next Marine Mammal Highlights blog is the Spectacled Porpoise – the strange, very unique porpoise that we know almost nothing about! The harbour porpoise was one of the most accessible species for early cetologists, because it could be seen very close to land, inhabiting shallow coastal areas of Europe. Our harbor porpoise study suggests that besides these two mechanisms, there is a … Because of their body form, however, cetaceans were commonly grouped with the fishes. , Unlike most animals, porpoises are conscious breathers. Porpoises have a three-chambered stomach, including a fore-stomach and fundic and pyloric chambers. China counted 1,012 Yangtze porpoises in its last census in 2017, down from 2,500 in 1991, and the numbers are falling by about 10% a year, officials said. It was classified as a critically endangered species by the IUCN in 2013. Best known of these is the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, a shy cetacean that generally avoids boats and rarely leaps above the water. 2. And as with the other whales and dolphins, when these animals are born, they have a few little whiskers just around their snout.  Some of these can be seen in damming of the river as well as illegal fishing activity. Porpoises use echolocation as their primary sensory system.  At least 150 harbour porpoises have been kept worldwide, but only about 20 were actively caught for captivity. One of the main ways to tell the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise is from their teeth. The other members of the genus are more restricted in distribution.  This breeding success, combined with the results with harbour porpoise in Denmark and the Netherlands, proved that porpoises can be successfully bred in captivity, and this could open up new conservation options. , As of 2014, only 505 Yangtze finless porpoises remained in the main section of the Yangtze, with an alarming population density in Ezhou and Zhenjiang. Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio. This makes sense in the case of aquatic or arboreal species (predators above look down on a dark dorsum, matching the depths or forest floor below, while predators below see the pale venter, against light streaming down from above).  Attempts of rehabilitation seven rescued individuals in 1986 only resulted in three that could be released 6 months later. The stomach contents of Dall's porpoises reveal that they mainly feed on cephalopods and bait fish, like capelin and sardines. Porpoises were, and still are, hunted by some countries by means of drive hunting. , Recently discovered hybrids between male harbour porpoises and female Dall's porpoises indicate the two species may actually be members of the same genus. Aristotle, however, could already see many physiological and anatomical similarities with the terrestrial vertebrates, such as blood (circulation), lungs, uterus and fin anatomy. a mammal that lives in the sea, swims in groups, and looks similar …  This is older than the typical age reached in the wild, which is 14 years or less. Porpoises usually swim... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Larger threats to porpoises include extensive bycatch in gill nets, competition for food from fisheries, and marine pollution, in particular heavy metals and organochlorides. Dr. Porter and her team in Hong Kong have been conducting an acoustic monitoring program, aimed at determining the density of individuals in Hong Kong. We focus on ways that plastic pollution affects marine animals such as entanglement and ingestion of plastics by dolphins, whales, sea turtles, sea birds and fish.  Five protected natural reserves have been established in areas of the highest population density and mortality rates with measures being taken to ban patrolling and harmful fishing gear in those areas. Are dolphins and porpoises whales? The Chinese Academy of Science's Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology has been working with the World Wildlife Fund to ensure the future for this subspecies, and have placed five porpoises in another well-protected area, the He-wang-miao oxbow. “It may be too little too late, but what they are doing is unprecedented,” Todd Robeck, author of a recent study into the Yangtze porpoise, said of the effort to save the mammal. The porpoise is a mammal. They are distinct from dolphins, although the word "porpoise" has been used to refer to any small dolphin, especially by … These animals consistently failed to thrive. Harbor porpoises, a marine mammal resembling dolphins, but in the same family as whales, have made several appearances in Utqiaġvik recently. How to use porpoise in a sentence. Unlike other porpoises, they lack a dorsal fin entirely. The harbor porpoise is found throughout the temperate and sub-polar coastal waters of the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Black Sea. 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