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Dolphins and Porpoises

Overview

  • Habitats
    Oceans and freshwater rivers

Dolphins and porpoises delight us with their playful antics and warm our hearts with their friendly faces. Marine species are the most well-known, but there are several species that live in freshwater rivers. All are air-breathing, warm-blooded mammals that nurse their young. The difference between a dolphin and a porpoise has to do with their appearance: dolphins have longer snouts, bigger mouths, more curved dorsal fins, and longer, leaner bodies than porpoises.

Researchers use drones to count river dolphins in Brazil

On a river in Brazil, a quadcopter drone whirred over the water, transmitting a stream of images to a computer. Researchers and the small aircraft had the same job: spotting river dolphins.
Dolphin Magazine Summer2017

Why They Matter

  • Dolphins and porpoises are at the top of the food chain and have an important role in the overall balance of the marine environment. They can tell us a lot about the health of the ocean, such as the presence of pollution or the decline in fish. They are also very popular with tourists.

Related Species