- Type: Mammal
- Size: About 1.5 m
- Weight: Up to 55 kg
- Diet: Carnivore
- Life Span: Approximately 20 years
The Vaquita is a small cetacean that is considered as one of the smallest and most endangered marine mammal. This aquatic animal is characterized by its dark gray skin at the dorsal surface, light gray sides, and white ventral surface with gray markings.
In addition, they also have dark rings found around their mouth and eyes, as well as dark stripes located at the base of their flippers and chin. Compared to the harbour porpoise, the body of vaquitas is slimmer and their fins are bigger. Male vaquitas are also a bit smaller compared to the females.
These marine mammals live in shallow lagoons found along shorelines. Their distribution is limited and they inhabit the northern end of the Gulf of California.
Moreover, they are also categorized as carnivorous animals and their diet typically consists of small fishes, squids, octopus, croakers, crabs, and other small aquatic animals. Similar to other cetaceans, they locate their prey through echolocation.
Vaquitas are generally solitary creatures and are frequently seen alone. However, they may also live in small groups consisting of two to four individuals. In some cases, they form groups of up to 10 individuals.
The gestation period of vaquitas lasts about 10 to 11 months. Furthermore, these aquatic mammals become sexually mature when they are between 3 to 6 years old and their length reaches 1.3 meters.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Vaquita is listed as Critically Endangered. Some of the major threats that this animal faces include loss of habitat, fisheries bycatch, incidental mortality, and pesticide pollution.