Dolphin & Porpoise Facts
In the whale family dolphins and porpoises are mammals considered to be small toothed whales. The main differences are that dolphins have sharp teeth shaped like cones, typically have pointed mouths or 'beaks' and dorsal fins which are curved compared to porpoises which have wide and flatter teeth resembling shovels or spades.
Echolocation is a trait shared by both species. In their head they have structures able to transmit sonar sounds that echo back to their heads. They are able to determine many things precisely such as the type and size of fish or object as well as its proximity.
They are social creatures that live in large pods and their numbers reach into the thousands per group. As mammals, they nurse and provide milk to their young typically for one to two years depending on the length of time it takes to be able to survive on their own.
Most major oceans and seas are inhabited by dolphins and porpoises and have been found in the larger fresh water rivers in China, India and South America. The largest member of the species, Orca, also known as 'killer whale' is up to 30 feet and weighing up to 8 tons. The smallest is the Vaquita measuring just five feet and less than 200 pounds.
It should be noted and acted upon by staying informed in an effort to protect dolphins and porpoises. They are dying in large numbers each year due to human causes. Encouraging legislation and awareness that promotes reducing pollution and harmful chemicals into our oceans and addressing fishing nets that cause them to drown are examples of ways you can begin to help.
During your stay in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, or other areas off the Pacific Coast of Mexico, you will find numerous boats available to go watch dolphins swim in the ocean.