Cute and compact, harbour porpoises show that good things do come in small packages. The English word ‘porpoise' is derived from the Latin word for pig
Harbour porpoises are relatively small compared to other dolphins. They have small, rounded heads with no beak and dark lips and chin. Equipped with robust, stocky bodies, they have predominantly dark brown backs with a pale grey or white underside, blending half way up their sides. A small triangular fin set just past the centre of the back is one of its very distinctive features. Four subspecies of harbour porpoise are recognised: P. p. phocoena in the North Atlantic; P. p. vomerina in the eastern North Pacific; P. p. relicta in the Black Sea; and an unnamed subspecies in the western North Pacific.