The finless porpoise is the only porpoise without a dorsal fin. Because the dorsal fin is often used in photo-identification studies, the absence of one makes research in the wild difficult. The dorsal fin also helps observers locate the animals at sea. to identify a finless porpoise, researchers must either watch carefully for its spout or move in very close. In addition, the porpoise is fairly small - less than two metres long - and usually travels in pairs. Occasionally, groups of 5 to 10 animals have been seen.

Finless porpoises are the only porpoises that live in the waters of tropical and warm temperate Asia. More common than coastal dolphins throughout much of their range, they are found from the Persian Gulf, across southern Asia to Indonesia and north along China to Japan, where their numbers are also threatened by Japanese fishermen. They live in rivers and along coasts, favouring areas where fresh water meets the sea, such as estuaries and mangroves. Although they live in the Yangtze River in far greater numbers than the baiji, their preferred habitats are near some of the world's most densely populated areas. The pollution problems there make the prospects for the finless porpoise uncertain in many regions.

Neophocaena phocaenoides
Size: 1.4 to 1.9 m, 30 to 45 kg. Males slightly larger than females
Calves at birth: 80 cm
Teeth: 13 to 22 partly spade-shaped teeth on each side of upper and lower jaws
Food: Squid, sepias, shrimp and small fish
Habitat: Coastal waters, estuaries and rivers
Range: Tropical and temperate waters of the Indian Ocean, South China Sea and western North Pacific
Status: Population unknown

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