Finless Porpoise
Neophocaena phocaenoides

Other Names: Black Porpoise, Black Finless Porpoise, Jiangzhu

Habitat: Inshore and riverine

Status: Locally common

Population: Unknown

Threats: Habitat destruction, hunting/whaling, and entanglement in fishing nets

Group Size: 1-2, over 50 reported at good feeding areas

Fin Position: No fin

Newborns: 24-35 in (60-90 cm), 15 lbs. (7 kg)

Adults: 4-6 ft (1.2-1.9 m), 65-100 lbs. (30-45 kg)

Diet: Krill or other crustaceans and occasionally squid or octopus and fish

Teeth: 26-44 on both top and bottom rows



- slightly pointed tips
- long, concave trailing edges
- distinct notch in middle
- flukes rarely visible above surface when diving


- long, pointed flippers with narrow base


- small mouth curves slightly upward
- slight depression behind blowhole
- unfused neck vertebrate allow good head motility
- pink eyes in about half the population
- chin may be light, or may have a dark "strap"

Other characteristics:

- ridge covered in circular, wart-like tubercles
- ridge along back from above flippers to beginning of tail stock
- pale blue-gray body, sometimes with pinkish tinge on back and sides
- underside paler than upper side and sides, especially between flippers


- causes little disturbance when rising to surface, though tends to roll onto one side
- typically takes 3 to 4 breathes in quick succession, dives for about a minute, then resurfaces quite far away
- sometimes spyhops, lifting entire head and at least part of its body out of the water
- in captivity, can be trained to leap into the air, but rarely breaches in the wild
- calf grips onto ridge when riding on mother's back and usually comes out of the water when she surfaces to breathe


- coastal waters and all major rivers of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific
- some experts suggest 3 distinct varieties: in the Yangtze River, China; in coastal waters around Japan and Korea; and in coastal and riverine waters in other parts of Asia
- recently discovered in Laos and probably occurs in northern Australia
- occurs further north in Japan to the northern tip of Honshu
- it is predominately an inshore species but occurs in salt water and fresh water
- seems to prefer murky and turbid conditions, rarely seen more than about 3 miles (5 km) from the coast
- can be found in warm rivers, lakes (if connected to rivers), mangroves, estuaries, deltas, and salt marshes
- some animals appear to migrate according to food availability, but movements are poorly known

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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet