Porpoise vs. Dolphin

Porpoise vs. Dolphin

Porpoises and dolphins are two commonly misidentified animals. Not only are they confused with one another, but they may be mistaken for fish when they are, in fact, mammals.

A porpoise is any of a family of small toothed whales with a rounded nose. They are mammals that live in water and are found mainly in the North Pacific Ocean. They hunt fish and usually live in pairs or groups. Their dorsal fin is triangular, somewhat like a shark's. A porpoise can be white, gray, or black.

A dolphin is any of a family of small toothed whales with a beak-like nose. They are marine mammals that, depending on species, can live in fresh or salt water. Dolphins live in large groups called pods. They have a curved dorsal fin.

Porpoises are shorter and chubbier than dolphins, with a more blunt snout. While both are very intelligent, dolphins tend to be more social and friendly toward humans. Both use echolocation (squealing sounds) to communicate and locate prey, but dolphins use it more often.

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