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Dolphins or Porpoise?
updated: Dec 27, 2013, 11:22 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

Dolphins or Porpoise? We were down at Summerland beach yesterday and at Goleta Pier this morning. Both times we saw small pods of dark gray or black small-ish dolphins or porpoise? Does anyone know the difference? At Goleta beach pier this morning we saw them on from the end of the pier coming from south and they came right up to us and around the pier heading toward UCSB. So close we could hear their breathing. They are much smaller than the CA gray dolphin.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 480490 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 12:14 PM

If it wasn't a bottle nose dolphin, then was it it a common dolphin?


 COMMENT 480494 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 12:30 PM

English is a funny language. We have _so_ many words compared to other languages and we're constantly making new ones (although maybe not as fast as we used to, a downside to 24-hour global-access).


According to NOAA:
"Dolphins have longer noses, bigger mouths, more curved dorsal fins, and longer, leaner bodies than porpoises."

There's also dental differences. Dolpins: cone-shaped teeth, porpoises: spade-shaped teeth.


 SHAKEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 12:55 PM

Well just off the top of my head I'd have to say that the ones you see that barely breach the surface, someone always says " look at daphins " so those are dolphins and the ones that get in front of your boat trying to slow you down do that on porpoise so that's why they call them porpoise. Or maybe I could way off base !!


 COMMENT 480501 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 01:06 PM

i'll use that in my next movie...if you don't mind...


 SMILODON agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 01:31 PM

Both are highly intelligent. Once I was at the RV parking area on the SB/Vta border and I saw a whole train of black dolphins (presumably) heading south in a very long line. The train passed a half dozen surfers sitting on their boards, waiting for a set. As each dolphin came with ten yards of the surfers, when they breached for air, they would hang momentarily in mid air to eyeball the surfers, as in "Who are those guys, anyway?" They were not frightened, more curious. I assume they were dolphins, though black, because there are more dolphins around than porpoises. Our alliance with Andalucia on the south coast of Spain, in part, is because they, too are famous for their dolphins. Our dolphin fountain by Bud Bottoms is entirely appropriate for Santa Barbara.


 SHAKEY agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 01:40 PM

Ha ha , not trying to sound like one of those GPS map things they have in cars nowadays , but go right ahead ..


 COMMENT 480545 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 02:38 PM

"The common harbor porpoise has an abrupt snout, pointed teeth and a triangular thoracic fin. While the bottlenose dolphin, or Tursiops truncates, has an elongated beak, round cone shaped teeth and a serrated dorsal appendage. But I'm sure you already knew that. That's what turns me on about 'cha, your attention to detail."
Ace Ventura.


 COMMENT 480587 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 04:55 PM

Most of the time, what we have around here are Common Dolphin or Pacific Whiteside Dolphin.


 COMMENT 480625 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-27 07:07 PM

The only common-ish porpoise we have in our channel is the Dall's porpoise, a distinct chunky, black and white body about 8' long.


 COMMENT 480696 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-28 08:13 AM

Dolphins and porpoises are pretty much the same marine mammal, with the largest being Orcinus orca, the Killer Whale.


 RED CREEK agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-28 10:08 AM

We saw two pods of dolphins near UCSB beach yesterday. One pod of 6 to 8 creatures, looked to be juveniles, the other, with four, were quite large. They looked to be feeding, but the larger ones, which were within twenty feet of the breakers, went speeding along the crests showing their considerable size and speed.

Also saw a feeding seal in the low tide very warm afternoon.


 COMMENT 481288 agree helpful negative off topic

2013-12-30 12:03 PM

One of the biggest thrills as a surfer is to catch a wave and realize that some dolphins are riding it with you just under the surface.

They are really fast and you hope that they don't decide to take issue with the number of marine animals we kill each year with our fishing practices.


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