| Vaquitas are very similar to Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), and are sometimes called Gulf of California harbor porpoises. The scientific name "sinus" is Latin for "bay," and refers to the Gulf, where there have been confirmed sightings and specimens have been collected. Some of the latter were caught in fishing nets. Their stomachs contained the remains of croakers and grunts, fish that are plentiful in the Gulf, and some squid. Vaquitas feed near the surface, in warm, shallow coastal waters, sometimes swimming alone and sometimes in small groups. They use sonar to communicate and navigate. A low reproductive rate contributes to their being endangered: females have one calf at a time, and the gestation period is relatively long (more than 10 months). Juveniles are especially likely to be caught in fishing or shrimp nets, and drown, lowering the number of adults old enough to reproduce.
Total Length: 1.35-1.5 m
Norris, K.S., & W.N. McFarland, 1958. Journal of Mammalogy. 39:22, pl. 1-4.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).