Found along the West Coast, the Dall’s porpoises are large animals, reaching six feet or more in length and weighing up to 500 pounds. The black and white coloring of their belly and flanks superficially resembles baby orcas. They typically travel in pods of 10-20 but may gather in the hundreds at exceptionally good feeding grounds.
Dall’s can swim over 35 mph and are often seen darting to and fro and then suddenly disappearing. At those high speeds, their small black dorsal fins create a spray of water called a “rooster tail,” caused by water moving off of the animal’s head when they surface to breathe. The spray is a good way to spot the Dall’s porpoise in super groups of over 1,000.