Porpoises are a fully aquatic marine mammal group similar in appearance to dolphins whom they are commonly confused with, even though they are more closely related to narwhals and beluga whales than dolphins. The differences between a dolphin and a porpoise are that dolphins have longer snouts, more curved dorsal fins, bigger mouths, and leaner but longer bodies than porpoises. They are similar in one way though, as both species are very intelligent. Both porpoises and dolphins are curious and smart creatures that constantly explore and learn every day.
The main way to distinguish between a porpoise and a dolphin is to take a closer look at their teeth. Dolphins have cone-shaped teeth while porpoises have more flat-shaped teeth. On the water, another cool way to determine if you’re looking at a porpoise or dolphin is to watch its behavior. Dolphins are more likely to fully jump out of the water, while porpoises aren’t usually found jumping completely out of the water.
Dolphins and porpoises also can be distinguished by the sound and pitch of their noises. Dolphins and porpoises both communicate with each other by using echolocation, which is when an animal emits sound waves to communicate. But their sound waves sound different. Dolphins produce sound waves that humans can hear. If we would put a recorder in the ocean and wait, we could hear them communicating. However, when porpoises use echolocation, their sound waves make such a high pitch frequency that humans can’t hear.
Although dolphins and porpoise have their similarities and differences, they both are unique and needed creatures. Dolphins and porpoises both play a huge role in maintaining the marine environment. These animals also can help scientists figure out pollution levels and ocean health levels.