What is the difference between a porpoise and a dolphin?

Many people use the word “dolphin” and “porpoise” interchangeably however they are two different creatures, although they do share some common characteristics.

When people vacation in Florida, many will book dolphin cruises in Naples FL to see the animals for themselves. Both creatures are mammals; they may live in the water but they are not fish. They breathe air just like humans and other mammals do, they also give birth to their young and nurse them

Dolphin cruises in Naples FL is accompanied by a guide who will tell you about the animals. They are related to whales; all three species, whales, dolphins and porpoises belong to the order Cetacean. Animals of this order are all aquatic, are characterized with a blow hole, a streamlined body and a tail fluke. Any creature in this scientific order has the ability to locate objects underwater using sound echoes, the same concept as sonar.

Although to the uninitiated there appears to be a great deal of similarity, to the scientist, the dolphin and the porpoise are as different as dogs and cats. The following may help you to differentiate the two:


* Porpoises rarely exceed seven feet in length whereas dolphins can exceed ten feet.

Body shape:

* Porpoises appear to be chubby whereas dolphins are lean and sleek.

The dorsal fin:

* The dorsal on the porpoise is triangular, similar in shape to the sharks dorsal whereas the dolphin dorsal is wave shaped.

The porpoise also lacks the beak or rostrum. The rostrum is very pronounced on a dolphin. Both species have teeth; the porpoise teeth are shaped like a spade, and the teeth of the dolphin are more cone shaped.
The life expectancy of the porpoise is shorter than that of the dolphin. Both creatures have an active reproduction system, often becoming pregnant every year and getting pregnant again six weeks or so after giving birth. This means they are nursing and pregnant simultaneously. As the porpoise is smaller, it is thought that the rigors of this reproductive cycle take its toll where the dolphin with its larger mass is better suited for these occurrences. Dolphins will often live for fifty years.

As well as these physical differences that you will see when take dolphin cruises in Naples FL, there are many differences in their behavior. Porpoises are very shy animals, rarely do they approach people or boats. Dolphins, on the other hand, are playful and are often seen riding the bow waves of boats. About the only time a porpoise is sighted is when it surfaces to breathe.

Although they have significant differences, they still have a lot in common with one another. You are more likely to see dolphins than porpoises; this is one reason for taking the dolphin cruises in Naples FL.

The best dolphin cruises in Naples FL are arranged from Extreme Family Fun Spot. Their tours last about one and a half hours and you are definitely going to see dolphins and other sea creatures in the natural habitat.

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