Yangtze finless porpoise is a mammal living in the longest Asian river The Yangtze River. This porpoise was officially declared to the world in the year 1899. It belongs to phocaenoides family and Neophocaena phocaenoides is its biological name. It was abundantly found in the costal Asian waters but today, it is one of the critically endangered species with only about 1000 of them living.
The most unique and attractive feature in Yangtze finless porpoise is its lips which always appear like its smiling. And as the name itself suggests this porpoise does not have a dorsal fin unlike any other porpoise. Instead of the fin it has a dorsal ridge along its back.
The body of Yangtze finless porpoise is tapered at the end and has a bulbous face with no beak. It has two eyes located to the lateral sides of face and a small mouth. An adult finless porpoise is about 5-6 ft. and weighs around 100 pounds. At birth these finless porpoise are black in colour but gradually the colour pales and its skin becomes grey.
Yangtze finless porpoise are widely found in the coastal waters of Asia. And The Yangtze River is its largest habitat. Other than that it is also found in Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. And they always prefer shallow waters.
Yangtze finless porpoise have a variety of feed depending on the habitat location. It is an omnivorous animal. It feeds upon fishes, shrimps, prawns, octopus and many other easily available animals in its habitat. Whereas, it even consumes plants if the habitat has rich verities in it.
The finless porpoise is seen to move around the habitat in small groups. The male porpoise attains sexual maturity between four to six years and female attains sexual maturity between six to nine years.
The gestation period lasts for about ten to twelve months. And it is mostly in the in spring or summer that the young ones are born. The baby porpoise is about 72 to 84 cm. And the calf is usually seen clinging to its mother’s back and swims along with it for initial few months. It has an average life span of 33 years.
The change in fishing activities has led to wide fishing and killing of these species. The encounter with fishing gears killed these animals.
In some parts of Japan these finless porpoise are consumed. So they were killed for human consumption too.
Habitat destruction and polluting the waters also led to wide range of death of marine animals.
So all these human habits resulted in decline of the finless porpoise species and made it an endangered species.