One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small porpoise found in the Gulf of California and now endangered.
Phocoena sinus, family Phocoenidae
- ‘The upper Gulf of California near the Colorado River delta is the endangered vaquita's only habitat.’
- ‘The critically endangered vaquita - a tiny porpoise inhabiting Mexico's Gulf of California - is teetering on the brink of extinction.’
- ‘The Mexican government set up a reserve in 1993 to protect the vaquita porpoises, which become entangled in fishing nets and drown.’
- ‘Many scientists believe that vaquita will become extinct because the genetic pool is too small for effective reproduction.’
- ‘Probably no more than 150 vaquitas survive, conservationists say.’
1950s: Spanish, diminutive of vaca ‘cow’, from Latin vacca.
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