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porpoise

porpoise, small whale of the family Phocaenidae, allied to the dolphin. Porpoises, like other whales, are mammals; they are warm-blooded, breathe air, and give birth to live young, which they suckle with milk. They are distinguished from dolphins by their smaller size and their rounded, beakless heads. Porpoises are 4 to 6 ft (120–180 cm) long and are black above and white below. Traveling in schools, porpoises prey on fish, often pursuing them long distances up rivers.

The finned porpoises, species of the genus Phocaena, have a dorsal fin. They are distributed throughout the world and include the common porpoise, Phocaena phocaena, found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The finless porpoise, Neophocaena phocaenoides, is found in the Indian and W Pacific oceans and in the Chang (Yangtze) River.

The fat of the porpoise yields a lubricating oil, and the flesh is sometimes eaten. In North America the dolphins (family Delphinidae) are sometimes called porpoises and the bottle-nosed dolphin is sometimes called the common porpoise. True porpoises are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Cetacea, family Phocaenidae.

See W. N. Kellogg, Porpoises and Sonar (1961); K. S. Norris, ed., Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises (1966) and, as author, The Porpoise Watcher (1974); R. Ellis, Dolphins and Porpoises (1989).

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"porpoise." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"porpoise." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/porpoise

"porpoise." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/porpoise

porpoise

por·poise / ˈpôrpəs/ • n. a small toothed whale with a low triangular dorsal fin and a blunt rounded snout. Its several species include the harbor (or common) porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) of the North Atlantic and North Pacific. • v. [intr.] move through the water like a porpoise, alternately rising above it and submerging.

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"porpoise." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"porpoise." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/porpoise-0

"porpoise." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/porpoise-0

porpoise

porpoise Small, toothed whale with a blunt snout. Found in most oceans, the best known is the common porpoise of the Northern Hemisphere. Its body is black above and white below. Length: to 1.5m (5ft). Family Delphinidae; species Phocaena phocaena.

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"porpoise." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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porpoise

porpoise XIV. ME. porpa(y)s, -poys — OF. po(u)rpois, -peis, -pais :- Rom. *porcopiscis, f. L. porcus swine, piscis FISH.

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"porpoise." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"porpoise." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/porpoise-1

porpoise

porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) See PHOCOENIDAE.

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"porpoise." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"porpoise." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/porpoise

porpoise

porpoiseChiapas, tapas •campus, grampus, hippocampus, pampas •metacarpus, streptocarpus •trespass • Priapus • Lepus •Aristippus, Lysippus •Olympus • Oedipus • platypus •pompous •corpus, porpoise •Canopus, opus •lupus, upas •compass, encompass, rumpus •octopus •multipurpose, purpose

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"porpoise." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"porpoise." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved December 15, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/porpoise