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Dall's Porpoise - Phocoenoides dalli
Photo by PRBO-Dan Taylor

The Dall's porpoise is stout, muscular, and thick-bodied, but has a relatively small head, fins, and flippers. Coloration is mostly black with a gray patch on the dorsal fin, and a large white marking on the side. This species can swim very fast reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour which often creates a rooster tail of spray as they surface to breathe. These animals prefer to bowride in front of fast moving vessels.

Dall's Porpoise
(Phocoenoides dalli)

Found mainly in the cold waters of the northern North Pacific. These creatures tend to migrate north in summer and south in winter in the Western Pacific.

Mostly offshore, but sometimes inshore in some regions

Fish, squid, krill


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
The Dall's porpoise is easily recognized by its strongly keeled "caudal peduncle", or area right in front of its fluke.

Learn More
- Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
- The American Cetacean Society
- The National Marine Mammal Laboratory