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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
  • Seals
  • Sperm whales
Gervais' beaked whale

Gervais’ beaked whale

Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale

gray seal species guide

Gray seal

Gray whale

Gray whale

Gray's beaked whale

Gray’s beaked whale

Guiana dolphin

Guiana dolphin

harbor seal species guide

Harbor seal

Harbour porpoise © Nicola Hodgins/WDC

Harbour porpoise

harp seal species guide

Harp seal

Heaviside's dolphin

Heaviside’s dolphin

Hector’s beaked whale

New Zealand dolphin

Hector’s dolphin

Norwegian Polar Institute hooded seal species guide

Hooded seal

Hourglass dolphin

Hourglass dolphin

Hubb’s beaked whale

Humpback whale

Humpback 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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