(suborder Odontoceti, superfamily Delphinoidea)
A family of marine mammals which lack a distinct beak, the head being either rounded or conical. The dorsal fin is low or absent, the tail fin is narrow with a shallow notch, and the flippers are short. Typically, the teeth are compressed laterally and range in number from 30 to 60 in each jaw. Phocoenidae feed mainly on fish, but also on marine invertebrates. They are found throughout the northern hemisphere and in temperate regions of the southern hemisphere. There are about seven species, in three genera: Phocoena (P. phocoena is the common porpoise, distributed widely in the northern hemisphere), Neophocoena, and Phocoenoides.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.