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Whale and dolphin species guide

There are around 90 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, known collectively as "cetaceans". From the enormous blue whale to the tiny vaquita and Hector's dolphin, you will find information and amazing facts about many of these incredible creatures in our species guide.

Whale and dolphin species

 All whales and dolphins can be divided into two categories: baleen whales and toothed whales. Toothed whales include the sperm whale, beaked whales, dolphins, porpoises and the beluga whale and narwhal. We have also included seal species seen in the Plymouth area where WDC's Marine Animal Rescue and Response (MARR) team responds to stranding events.

  • All
  • Baleen whales
  • Beaked whales
  • Beluga whale and narwhal
  • Dolphins
  • Porpoises
  • River dolphins
  • Sperm whales
  • Seals
Amazon River dolphin (Boto)

Amazon River dolphin

Andrews’ beaked whale

Antarctic minke whale creating waves in the water

Antarctic minke whale

Arnoux's beaked whale

Arnoux’s beaked whale

Atlantic humpback dolphin

Atlantic humpback dolphin

Young spotted dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Atlantic white-sided dolphin

Atlantic white-sided dolphin

Australian humpback dolphin

Australian snubfin dolphin

Australian snubfin dolphin

Baiji (Yangtze River dolphin)


Baird's beaked whale

Baird’s beaked whale

Beluga whale

Beluga whale

Blainville's beaked whale

Blainville’s beaked whale

Blue whale © Andrew Sutton

Blue whale

bowhead whale

Bowhead whale

Bryde's whale

Bryde’s whale

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Bottlenose dolphin calf breaching with its whole body out of the water
Bottlenose dolphin calf


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Breaching North Atlantic right whale
Breaching North Atlantic Right Whale


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