The harbour porpoise is the most commonly seen porpoise (2), and is the most widely distributed of all cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in northern Europe (4). It is easily recognised as it has a low triangular dorsal fin and lacks a beak (2). It is small in comparison to other porpoises, has a plump body with a dark grey to bluish coloured back, a pale belly and a rounded head (5). At birth, young harbour porpoises are dull in colour and typically have 'birth lines', which look like folds in the skin, and persist for the first few hours after birth (5).
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