Burmeister’s Porpoise

Scientific Name:
Phocena spinipinnis
1.5 m (4.9 ft)
50 - 75 kg (110 - 165 lbs)
good to go
Fish (including anchovies and hake), squid and shrimp

Physical characteristics

They are dark grey in color with an underside in a lighter grey, sometimes whitish or with a shimmer of pink. They have a shallow indentation at the blowholes in front of their eyes. The dorsal fin is triangular, points backward and is located further back than in any other porpoise or dolphin.

Behavioral characterization

They appear to be shy. They show only little of their bodies when surfacing and move quickly away from boats.


Coastal waters from northern Peru (Pacific) up to southern Brazil (Atlantic), staying close to the shore.

Population size

Over 10,000


Killer whales

Migration/Dispersal patterns

Do not migrate.

Social system/Group size

Usually seen solitary or in pairs, but occasionally larger groups gather in rich feeding areas.

Major threats

Entanglement in fishing gear is the biggest threat, although disturbance by humans is also known to cause stress.

Research efforts


Fun fact

Shortly after death the bodies turn completely black.