The porpoise is a fantastic swimmer. The streamlined form, the smooth skin, and the powerful motor in the tail fin, makes it possible for the porpoise to shoot itself through the water.
Scientists have yet to measure the precise maximum speed, but they expect it can swim up to 10 m/s over shorter distances. For comparison, the human world record for 50 m freestyle swimming 2.4 m/s.
Like others whales, the porpoise uses click noises to hunt for food. Through echolocation high frequencies and very powerful sound waves, which the porpoise itself sends out, it easily locates both direction and distance of its prey, usually fish or squids.
It is only whales and bats who hunt this way, and because of the enormously efficient method to “see” in the dark and under water, it is something humans’ have studied for ages – most especially for military purposes.
From 1962-74, there was a NATO-station in Strib, where they studied porpoises and their use of what the researchers called bio-sonar. There are no traces of the work in Strib today, but at Middelfart Museum in “Henne Friisers Hus” they have an exhibit, which shows among other things, how NATO studied the porpoises in Strib.