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The harbour porpoise is one of the smallest marine mammals and one of the six species of porpoise in the world. There is still lots that is unknown about this elusive species. One reason for this lack of knowledge is that scientists still do not know where teenage herring go, which is a main food source that this species follows. Adult harbour porpoises reach sizes of only 1.4 to 1.9 meters in length. This tiny yet playful species can, at times, be seen in small groups traveling through waters of the Salish Sea even though they are thought to be mostly solitary animals. Harbour porpoises are dark gray in colour on their dorsal side, light gray on their flanks, and have a white underbelly. A relatively unknown fact about this species is that they can only acoustically see about 20 feet in front of them, which is why they have the tendency to blunder into fishing nets. They utilize echolocation to navigate and feed by producing very high-frequency whistle and clicks. High-frequency sounds do not travel as far as low-frequency sounds do, which is the reason for the harbour porpoise’s “nearsightedness”.

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