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Animals

Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 13, 2021

Did You Know? 21 Incredible Burmeister's Porpoise Facts

Read further to discover some awesome Burmeister's porpoise facts!

Burmeister's porpoises are a cetacean species endemic to South America. Very cute and highly intelligent, this species belongs to the Phocoenidae family of marine species. These porpoises are known by the scientific name Phocoena spinipinnis, and they belong to the Phocoena genus. Other cetaceans include dolphins and whales. These porpoises are a large species and can grow up to a length of 49.2 ft (15 m). They are characterized by their unique dorsal fin, their gray skin, and intelligence. They have a very unique triangular dorsal fin, which is very different from other members of the same family. These porpoises are endemic to South America and can be found in shallow waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, parts of Peru and Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay. Their diet mainly consists of small fish, shrimp, crabs, and so on. Read further to discover some fun facts about the Phocoena spinipinnis, and do check out our porpoise facts, and Atlantic spotted dolphin facts pages!

Burmeister's Porpoise Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Burmeister's porpoise?

The Burmeister's porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) is a porpoise that belongs to the Phocoenidae family. They are endemic to the coastal waters of South America, and parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Other species that are endemic to South America include the Amazon river dolphin, the ocelot, and blue footed booby bird.

What class of animal does Burmeister's porpoise belong to?

The Burmeister's porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) is a mammal. They are marine mammals that are endemic to the coastal waters of South America, and parts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

How many Burmeister's porpoises are there in the world?

The exact population of this species is not known. However, they have a dwindling population, and hence they are considered to be Near Threatened.

Where does Burmeister's porpoise live?

The Burmeister's Porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) is a marine mammal that is endemic to the coastal waters of South America. They can be found in Peru and Chile, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina, Uruguay, and the southern parts of Brazil.

What is Burmeister's porpoise's habitat?

Burmeister's porpoises are found in cold, coastal, and shallow waters, and estuaries. They are usually found very offshore, and they move towards the shore at night. They are endemic to South America (Tierra Del Fuego, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay).

Who do Burmeister's porpoises live with?

The Burmeister's porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) is a social animal and can be found in groups of 10 porpoises. Usually, when a large number of these porpoises are spotted, it is because they are in a high food concentration area.

How long does Burmeister's porpoise live?

The Burmeister's porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) has an average lifespan of 15-20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Burmeister's porpoise (Phocoena spinipinnis) is viviparous in nature, which means that they give birth to live young following a gestation period. The pregnancy period lasts for 11-12 months, and the babies are born between summer and fall.

What is their conservation status?

The Burmeister's porpoise has been classified as a Near Threatened species by the IUCN.

Burmeister's Porpoise Fun Facts

What do Burmeister's porpoises look like?

Burmeister's porpoises are a dark gray color, with a blowhole, and an indentation above their eyes. They have a pale underbelly and a triangular dorsal fin. They resemble the Chilean Dolphin. Dolphins and porpoises are very similar-looking species. When Burmeister's porpoises die, their skin turns black. Burmeister's porpoises were rarely spotted, and hence they were only seen when they washed up on shore dead. As a result, The Burmeister's porpoise was often referred to as the black porpoise.

These porpoises are characterized by their dolphin-like appearance, and gray color skin.
*We've been unable to source an image of a Burmeister's porpoise and have used an image of a harbor porpoise instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Burmeister's porpoise, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

Burmeister's porpoises and dolphins are very closely related animals. As a result, These marine mammals are considered to be very cute.

How do they communicate?

Burmeister's porpoises use a combination of auditory signals to communicate with each other. They also use Echolocation to allow them to spot prey and other species.

How big is a Burmeister's porpoise?

Burmeister's porpoises are large marine animals and grow to a length in the range of 6.56-49.21 ft (2-15 m). This makes them almost 15 times smaller than the blue whale.

How fast can a Burmeister's porpoise swim?

The exact speed of Burmeister's porpoises is not known.

How much does a Burmeister's porpoise weigh?

Burmeister's porpoises are large mammals and can weigh between 176.3-187.3 lb (80-85 kg). However, in some cases, females of this species are observed to weigh up to 231.485 (105 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of this species. They are simply referred to as males or females.

What would you call a baby Burmeister's porpoise?

There are no specific names for baby Burmeister's porpoises. They are simply referred to as juveniles or young.

What do they eat?

Burmeister's porpoises are carnivorous in nature and have a diet consisting of marine animals such as anchovies, hake, and pelagic fish species.

Are they smart?

Burmeister's porpoises are extremely intelligent creatures, they have very large, and complex brains that are very similar to the human brain. Dolphins and porpoises are some of the only animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Burmeister's porpoises will not make good pets. They are a threatened species, and hence, cannot be held captive. They are also very large, and they require a large habitat.

Did you know...

Porpoises are shy cetaceans, and they are rarely seen. They are very shy, and hence, even when they come to the surface, they barely break the water with only their dorsal fin. Although they do live in groups, these groups are small. Whenever a large group or pod of these porpoises are spotted, it is because they are in a high food concentration area. The largest pod spotted was in Chile, a group of 70 porpoises.

These Burmeister porpoises are under threat by fishing and being accidentally caught in nets. They are also often hunted for human consumption in certain areas. They may get accidentally stuck in between large fishing nets, which is one of the largest contributors to their dwindling population.

The Burmeister porpoise is largely caught in fishing nets in Peru and Chile. The annual average of Porpoises caught in Peru is around 2000 individuals. They are caught in Peru for human consumption. Until the late '90s, the Burmeister porpoise was routinely hunted as food and crab bait. As a result, the Burmeister's Porpoise saw a steady decline in its population. Today, many conservation efforts are being taken up to stabilize their population.

Why is it called the Burmeister's porpoise?

The Burmeister's porpoise was discovered by scientist Hermann Burmeister in the sea in the southern part of Brazil. As a result, this porpoise was named after him. Previously, the Burmeister's Porpoise was referred to as the Black Porpoise.

Can porpoises and dolphins mate?

Porpoises and dolphins are both cetaceans. Although they have very similar traits, they are anatomically different. They generally do not mate in their natural habitat. However, a hybrid between porpoises and dolphins, or whales and dolphins is technically possible, but extremely rare.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other marine animals from our harbor porpoise facts, or Irrawaddy dolphin facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable spinner dolphin coloring pages.

 

Second image by Erik Christensen.

*We've been unable to source an image of a Burmeister's porpoise and have used an image of a finless porpoise instead as the main image. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a Burmeister's porpoise, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

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