Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department





How are Indo-Pacific finless porpoises different from dolphins?

  • Both are odontocetes, i.e. toothed whales

  • Belong to two different families (porpoise belongs to the family Phocoenidae and dolphin belongs to the family Delphinidae)

  • Can be considered as different as dogs from cats

  • Features of Indo-Pacific finless porpoises and dolphins

Indo-Pacific finless porpoises Dolphins
Appearance Smaller,  adults < 2m Larger
Dorsal Fin Absent
Large, always present
Rostrum or Beak Absent Prominent
Teeth Spaded-shaped Conical
Behaviour Shy 
Seldom approach boats 
Seldom exhibit aerial behaviour
Very active
Exhibit lots of aerial behaviour, such as breaching, spy hopping, wake-riding and bow-riding
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Last Review Date : 09 August 2013