Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Species Account/Phocoena phocaena

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Phocoena phocaena (Harbour Porpoise)

Where found: The Harbour Porpoise, as its name implies, stays close to coastal areas or river estuaries and as such is the most familiar porpoise to whale watchers. This porpoise often ventures up rivers and has been seen hundreds of miles from the sea.

Description: The Harbour Porpoise is a little smaller than the other porpoises. It is about 75 cm long at birth. Males grow up to 1.6 m and females to 1.7 m. The females are correspondingly heavier, with a maximum weight of around 76 kg compared with the males' 61 kg. The body is robust and the animal is at its maximum girth just in front of its triangular dorsal fin. The beak is poorly demarcated. The flippers, dorsal fin, tail fin and back are a dark grey. The sides are a slightly speckled lighter grey. The underside is much whiter, though there are usually grey stripes running along the throat from the underside of the mouth to the flippers.


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