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Related to Phocoena: Phocoena phocoena, Harbour Porpoise


small whalewhale,
aquatic mammal of the order Cetacea, found in all oceans of the world. Members of this order vary greatly in size and include the largest animals that have ever lived. Cetaceans never leave the water, even to give birth.
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 of the family Phocaenidae, allied to the dolphindolphin,
aquatic mammal, any of the small toothed whales of the family Delphinidae, numbering more than 50 species. These include the true, or beaked, dolphins, the killer whale, the pilot whale, and the freshwater species found in rivers of South America and S and E Asia.
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. Porpoises, like other whales, are mammals; they are warm-blooded, breathe air, and give birth to live young, which they suckle with milk. They are distinguished from dolphins by their smaller size and their rounded, beakless heads. Porpoises are 4 to 6 ft (120–180 cm) long and are black above and white below. Traveling in schools, porpoises prey on fish, often pursuing them long distances up rivers.

The finned porpoises, species of the genus Phocoena, have a dorsal fin. They are distributed throughout the world and include the harbour, or common, porpoise, P. phocoena, found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The vaquita, P. sinus, found only in the N Gulf of California, Mexico, is the smallest and most endangered species. The finless porpoises, genus Neophocaena, are found in the Indian and W Pacific oceans and in the Chang (Yangtze) River.

The fat of the porpoise yields a lubricating oil, and the flesh is sometimes eaten. In North America the dolphins (family Delphinidae) are sometimes called porpoises and the bottle-nosed dolphin is sometimes called the common porpoise. True porpoises are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Cetacea, family Phocoenidae.


See W. N. Kellogg, Porpoises and Sonar (1961); K. S. Norris, ed., Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises (1966) and, as author, The Porpoise Watcher (1974); R. Ellis, Dolphins and Porpoises (1989).

What does it mean when you dream about a porpoise?

See Dolphin.


(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several species of marine mammals of the family Phocaenidae which have small flippers, a highly developed sonar system, and smooth, thick, hairless skin.


1. any of various small cetacean mammals of the genus Phocaena and related genera, having a blunt snout and many teeth: family Delphinidae (or Phocaenidae)
2. any of various related cetaceans, esp the dolphin
References in periodicals archive ?
The harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena (L) regional populations, status, and information on direct and indirect catches.
The Phocoena is powered by two Yamaha 250-horsepower outboard motors mounted on a rear bracket.
Asymmetry in the skull of the harbor porpoise Phocoena phocoena (L.
Investigation of aspects of the life history of the harbor porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, in British waters.
Contract notice: selecting a contractor for field observation of cetaceans tursiops truncatus, phocoena phocoena and delphinus delphis in bulgarian exclusive economic zone (eez) in the black sea.
PCBs, cause of death and body condition in harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena from British waters.
Interspecies overlap in fish prey is most likely to occur among belugas and seals, although other possibilities include Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus, and harbor porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, in some areas.
Select a service contractor to carry out field studies in business 6 "field observations of cetaceans tursiops truncatus, phocoena phocoena and delphinus delphis in bulgarian exclusive economic zone (eez) in the black sea" within the project "field studies of the distribution of species / assess the status of species and habitats throughout the country - i phase "funded under the operational programme" environment 2007-2013 " a detailed description is given in the technical specifications of the contract, an integral part of the documentation.
These fisheries were identified as Category I under the MMPA due to known levels of significant bycatch of harbor porpoise, Pliocoena phocoena.
The harbor porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, is among the smallest of the six porpoise species in the Family Phocoenidae, with an adult length of 1.