The dolphins and porpoises in the latest issue of Zoobooks have a lot in common, but here are a few ways to tell them apart!

1. Beak
Dolphins and porpoises have differently shaped beaks—porpoises have short, rounded noses, while dolphin’s beaks are longer and pointier.

2. Teeth
Dolphin teeth are cone-shaped, but porpoises’ teeth are shaped like spades.

3. Dorsal fin
Porpoises’ dorsal fins (the fins that stick up from the middle of their back) are curved, but dolphins have triangular dorsal fins.

4. Body shape
Most dolphins have long, lean, torpedo-like bodies, while porpoises are usually chubbier.

5. “Chattiness”
Dolphins and porpoises are extremely intelligent animals, and they communicate with each other just like humans do. However, dolphins make whistling noises with their blowholes to communicate with each other underwater, but porpoises don’t. Scientists think this is due to porpoises’ blowholes being built differently.

Can you tell whether the animal in this picture is a dolphin or a porpoise?

porpoise

 

 

 

 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

 

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