Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli)
Dall's porpoises are common in the North Pacific Ocean and can be found off the U.S. West Coast from California to the Bering Sea in Alaska. These porpoises are considered the fastest swimmers among small cetaceans, reaching speeds of 34 miles per hour over short distances. They are named for W.H. Dall, an American naturalist who collected the first specimen of this species.
A special characteristic of Dall’s porpoises is their distinctive colour pattern: a black body with a conspicuous white lateral patch on the left, right and underside. They are often mistaken for baby killer whales, but unlike killer whales, their dorsal fins are triangle-shaped and they do not have eye patches or saddle patches.
Dall’s porpoises, like all marine mammals, are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.