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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

Omura’s whale


Orca (Killer Whale)

Pacific white-sided dolphin

Pacific white-sided dolphin

Pantropical spotted dolphin

Pantropical spotted dolphin

Peale's dolphin

Peale’s dolphin

Perrin’s beaked whale

Pygmy beaked whale

Pygmy killer whale

Pygmy killer whale

Pygmy right whale

Pygmy right whale

Pygmy sperm whale

Artist impression Ramiri's beaked whale

Ramari’s beaked whale

Bryde's whale illustration

Rice’s whale

Risso's dolphin

Risso’s dolphin

Rough-toothed dolphin

Rough-toothed dolphin

Sato’s beaked whale

Sei whale

Sei whale

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Humpback whale spyhop


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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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