Differences between Dolphins and Porpoises

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Pictures of Porpoises
The vast similarities between dolphins and porpoises are astounding, to the naked and untrained eye, most common people would be unable to distinguish one from the other; this is generally because they are related. However there are three main differences between dolphins and porpoises, that is, porpoises are divided in to six species and sub species, while dolphins are divided into 40 different main types, the average dolphin is generally longer than the average porpoise, and the most obvious visible difference between the two groups is that porpoises have flattened, spade-shaped teeth.

http://press.princeton.edu/birds/mammals/dolphins/dolphins.jpg
http://www.thewildside.ca/artwork/porpoises.jpg

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Dolphins are renowned for their uncanny ability to impress and wow the minds of countless many, their great thinking skills, and intelligent behavior are hypnotic to the common folk, who have never beheld them, and even more interesting is the great varying types of dolphins there are, almost 40 astounding variations of this majestic creature, ranging from the Hectors dolphin, and the short finned pilot, to the spinner dolphin and the white beak dolphins. Most dolphins inhabit salt water and there are only 5 species of dolphins that are known to naturally inhabit freshwater, the Amazon River dolphin, the Chinese River dolphin, the Ganges River dolphin, the Franciscan dolphin and the Indus River dolphin. As you have probably noticed, the name of the species of these dolphins is related to the waterway that represents their habitat. On the other hand Six types of porpoises currently reside in the world's oceans all belonging to the family Phocoenidae. They include, Burmeister's Porpoise, Dall's Porpoise, the Finless Porpoise, the Harbour Porpoise, the Spectacled Porpoise and the rare Vaquita.

Another difference between these two similar creatures is theirlengths. Dolphins have an extremely wide range of lengths and widths, anywhere from 1.2 meters (4 ft) and 40 kilograms 88 pounds up to 9.5 meters (30 ft) and ten tons, referring to the killer whale. While the stubbly porpoise’s average length is just over 5 ft (1.5m) while females are slightly larger with average lengths of 5.5 ft (1.7m). The average adult harbor porpoise weighs between 135 and 170 lbs (61-77 kg). Now the important fact to take from all of this is that the porpoise does not generally exceed or minimize below these figures, while the dolphins can in rare cases exceed these numbers, in essence they are a lot more unpredictable in their sizes than the porpoise.

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Finally the most visible and easily spotted difference between these two mammals, their physical make up, the dolphins posses conical teeth and shorter beaks, while the porpoises generally tend to have flattened, spade shape teeth, the name porpoise in actuality was named from medieval times, porcopiscus (porcus pig + piscus fish). As per the name they gave them the name pigfish due to their somewhat noticeable characteristics. All in al these animals may have some key differences, such as their size, varying types and aesthetic differences, but regardless of this they share the common ability to amaze and entrain countless millions who are dazzled by their amazing intellect and even human characteristics, they are truly creatures blessed by the divine touch.

Source: dolphinworld.org
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http://www.aquaphobia-ramseyisland.co.uk/assets/porpoises.jpg

Pictures of Porpoises

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