Vaquita have 32-44 teeth on the upper jaw and 34-40 on the lower. This means a Vaquita can have 66-84 teeth in total, with the average at around 74 teeth.
The Vaquita has never survived in captivity.
The Vaquita has neither an obvious beak nor melon.
There are no known subspecies of Vaquita. This is because they have such a limited distribution in one singular location, with no evolutionary separation. At one point, however, the Vaquita and Burmeister’s Porpoise might have been the same species, many many years ago.
The Vaquita is one of the top 100 EDGE species, meaning “Evolutionarily Distinct, Globally Endangered.” Evolutionarily distinct animals have no close relatives and represent proportionally more of the tree of life than other species, meaning they are top priority for conservation campaigns. As of September 21, 2011, $32.6 million had been invested for the Vaquita. But that’s not enough. Please donate here.
Although geographically closer to the Harbor Porpoise off the coast of central California around 1,500 miles away, the Vaquita is more closely related to a Southern Hemisphere species of porpoise, the Burmeister’s Porpoise. The Burmeister’s Porpoise occurs some 3,000 miles away in Peru, and further south. Most likely, the Vaquita evolved from an ancestral population that moved northward into the Gulf of California around one million years ago during the Pleistocene era.
The Vaquita is a porpoise, therefore in the family Phocoenidae.
The Vaquita is called la vaquita marina in Spanish. Since vaquita means “little cow”, it cannot simply be called la vaquita, for that would cause much confusion among the Spanish community. Marina, meaning “marine”, is added to the word to show it’s a porpoise, not a bovine calf.
The Vaquita is closely related to the Burmeister’s Porpoise.
The Vaquita is the smallest cetacean, at only 5 feet long.