Common Name: Finless Porpoise
finless porpoise belongs to the Mammalian Order Cetacea, in the
suborder Odontoceti. All toothed whales belong to the suborder
Odontoceti, which is Latin for "toothed whales". The finless
porpoise belongs to the porpoise family, Phocoenidae. Other members
of this family include the harbor porpoise and cochito, the smallest
cetacean. The Dall's porpoise's scientific name is Neophocaena
phocaenoides. The generic name means "new porpoise". The
specific name means "porpoise-like". Finless porpoises are
primarily gray. They lack a dorsal fin, and instead have a dorsal
ridge, like that of the beluga, Delphinapterus leucas.
Adults grow to about lengths of 3-6ft and weigh about 55-90lbs.
finless porpoise inhabits the warm coastal waters and rivers
throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Warm shallow waters
and estuarine ecosystems are preferred. Small fish, shrimp and
squid compose the finless porpoise's diet.
of 1-5 have been observed, with female and calf pairs or breeding
pairs commonly witnessed. Breeding occurs in late spring and early
summer, after a gestation period of 10-11 months. Newborn calves
are 2-2.5ft in length, weighing no more than 15lbs. Interestingly,
calves cling to a roughened area of skin on their mother's back.
They are carried by her as she swims. Calves are weaned at 6-15
months. Sexual maturity is attained at 4-6 years for males and 6-9
years for females.
Finless porpoise has
completely disappeared from parts of its range. Possible cause may
be interference with boats, pollution, fishing or other consequences
of human development. However, Japanese fish nets have been
modified to reduce the number of cetaceans that drown annually from
fishing. The Inland Sea, near Japan, is estimated to contain 4,900