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Dall's porpoise

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Ella Sitzler

on 31 October 2014

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Transcript of Dall's porpoise

What are they?
Dall's Porpoises are the fastest of all small cetaceans (a marine mammal; a whale, dolphin, or porpoise). They have a powerful, stocky body with a small head and short beak. Dall's can grow up to a length of 2.3 meters, and can weigh around 350 pounds.
Dall's Porpoises live in an area with a very high biodiversity. In the ocean there are billions of different types of species, ranging from microscopic bacteria and viruses, to the largest animal on earth: the
blue whale.

The Dall's Porpoise, like many other animals, has made multiple adaptations in order to survive, both physical and behavioral. Some physical adaptations include its white belly and side walls for camouflage, a strongly developed dorsal for deep diving, and special small, spade like teeth separated by horny protuberances used for gripping. Some behavioral adaptations include being able to dive deep without suffering from the bends, and creating a "rooster tale" to breathe instead of jumping.
Different Ecosystem?
The question "can your species survive in a different ecosystem?" is difficult to answer regarding the Dall's Porpoise. This creature lives in most oceans across the world so location wouldn't be too difficult, because even though they prefer warm temperatures, they can also survive in cold. I think finding a new food source would be the most difficult part for this porpoise, as most of its food source is squid and fish mostly found 3000- 10000 feet deep. Dall's Porpoises rarely surface (only occasionally at night) so having to adapt differently might be challenging.
There has been sightings of white sided dolphins interacting with the Dall's Porpoise, in a negative way. There was one sighting where two male white sided dolphins were hitting a baby porpoise with their tales, pushing it under the surface. Dall's Porpoise also feed on the same things as Harbour Porpoises, as well as live in the same areas, so the two interact often, usually competing for food.
Although we did not see these fascinating creatures while on our captivating sailing trip, they are widely distributed in the cool temperatures of the North Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan for winter months, and spend summer seasons in the Okhotsk sea. Dall's usually feed on squid and fish such as; savry, herring, capelin, jack, mackerel, lantern fish, and heke. most of there food sources are found between 3000 to 10000 feet below the surface.
Dall's porpoise
sailing trip 2014
Threats that the Dall's Porpoise have to face are the ones of the following:
- Getting caught in fishing nets and gear
- Japanese hunting in the North Pacific for meat (about 18 000 taken each year)
- Pollutants and contaminates that have been found in their blubber
Although the Dall's Porpoise is in no immediate threat of becoming endangered they are still being protected. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 is protecting these porpoises by creating this law that states: "The MMPA prohibits, with certain exceptions, the "take" of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S"

Interesting Facts
- The name Dall's Porpoise means "like Phocoena"
- Their eyes have a dark blue or black iris and a blue-green pupil
- A "slow roll" is a typical behavior of theirs
- The fastest of all small cetaceans
- Rarely seen in water less than 10 fathoms deep
- Are found over the continental shelf adjacent to the slope and over deep oceanic waves (2500+ meters)
Human Impacts
Humans have impacted the ocean in many ways both positive and negative. For example the numerous oil spills that have happened over many years, have affected many marine animals in a negative way. This has destroyed the ecosystem in which the species live in, killing many. These spills occur often from careless mistakes or faults in pipelines, refineries, ect. But with that being said, humans have also contribute many positive impacts towards eco systems. There are many organizations that go towards cleaning up the ocean and protecting it from things like oil spills that may occur.
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