Whale and dolphin species guide

Find out more about whales and dolphins

There are 90 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, known collectively as "cetaceans". From the enormous blue whale to the tiny vaquita and New Zealand dolphin, they inhabit all the world's oceans. There are also four species of river dolphins that live in the major waterways of Asia and South America. Around 30 of these species have been identified in the waters around the United Kingdom.

Amazon River dolphin (Boto)

Amazon River dolphin

Andrew’s beaked whale

Andrew’s beaked whale

Arnoux's beaked whale

Arnoux’s beaked whale

Antarctic minke whale

Antarctic minke whale

Atlantic humpback dolphin

Atlantic humpback dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Atlantic spotted dolphin

Atlantic white-sided dolphin

Atlantic white-sided dolphin

Australian humpback dolphin

Australian humpback dolphin

Australian snubfin dolphin

Australian snubfin dolphin

Baiji (Yangtze River dolphin)

Baiji

Baird's beaked whale

Baird’s beaked whale

Beluga whale

Beluga whale

Blainville's beaked whale

Blainville beaked whale

Blue whale underwater

Blue whale

bowhead whale

Bowhead whale

Bryde's whale

Bryde’s whale

Burmeister's porpoise

Burmeister’s porpoise

Chilean dolphin

Chilean dolphin

Clymene dolphin

Clymene dolphin

Commerson's dolphin

Commerson’s dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin at surface

Common bottlenose dolphin

Common minke whale

Common minke whale

Cuvier's beaked whale

Cuvier’s beaked whale

Dal

Dall’s porpoise

Deraniyagala’s Beaked Whale

Deraniyagala’s Beaked Whale

Dusky dolphin

Dusky dolphin

Dwarf sperm whale

Dwarf sperm whale

False killer whale

False killer whale

Fin whale

Fin whale

Franciscana dolphin

Franciscana

Fraser's dolphin

Fraser’s dolphin

Gervais' beaked whale

Gervais’ beaked whale

Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale

Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale

Gray whale

Gray whale

Gray's beaked whale

Gray’s beaked whale

Guiana dolphin

Guiana dolphin

Harbour porpoise

Harbour porpoise

Heaviside's dolphin

Heaviside’s dolphin

Hector’s beaked whale

Hector’s beaked whale

Hourglass dolphin

Hourglass dolphin

Hubb’s beaked whale

Hubb’s beaked whale

humpback-whale-vanessa-mignon

Humpback whale

Indian Ocean humpback dolphin

Indian Ocean humpback dolphin

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin

Indo-Pacific beaked whale

Indo-Pacific beaked whale

Indo-Pacific finless porpoise

Indo-Pacific finless porpoise

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin

Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin

Irrawaddy dolphin

Irrawaddy dolphin

Long-beaked common dolphin

Long-beaked common dolphin

Long-finned pilot whale

Long-finned pilot whale

Melon-headed whale

Melon-headed whale

Narrow-ridged finless porpoise

Narrow-ridged finless porpoise

Narwhal

Narwhal

New Zealand dolphin

New Zealand dolphin

North Atlantic right whale

North Atlantic right whale

Northern bottlenose whale

Northern bottlenose whale

Northern right whale dolphin

Northern right whale dolphin

North Pacific right whale

North Pacific right whale

orca-blow-megan-hockin-bennett2

Orca (Killer Whale)

Omura’s whale

Omura’s 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

Perrin’s beaked whale

Pygmy beaked whale

Pygmy beaked whale

Pygmy killer whale

Pygmy killer whale

Pygmy right whale

Pygmy right whale

Pygmy sperm whale

Pygmy sperm whale

Risso's dolphin

Risso’s dolphin

Rough-toothed dolphin

Rough-toothed dolphin

Sei whale

Sei whale

Shepherd's beaked whale

Shepherd’s beaked whale

Short-beaked common dolphin

Short-beaked common dolphin

Short-finned pilot whale

Short-finned pilot whale

South Asian river dolphin

South Asian river dolphin

Southern bottlenose whale

Southern bottlenose whale

Southern right whale

Southern right whale

Southern right whale dolphin

Southern right whale dolphin

Sowerby’s beaked whale

Sowerby’s beaked whale

Spade-toothed beaked whale

Spade-toothed beaked whale

Spectacled porpoise

Spectacled porpoise

Sperm whale

Sperm whale

Spinner dolphin

Spinner dolphin

Stejneger’s beaked whale

Stejneger’s beaked whale

Strap-toothed beaked whale

Strap-toothed beaked whale

Striped dolphin

Striped dolphin

True's beaked whale

True’s beaked whale

Tucuxi

Tucuxi

Vaquita

Vaquita

White-beaked dolphin

White-beaked dolphin

The New Zealand dolphin is the smallest dolphin in the world at just 1.3m long.

New Zealand dolphin
Blue whale

By comparison, the blue whale can grow to over 30 metres, the largest creature ever to have lived.

Sperm whales have the largest brain and make the loudest sound of any whale.

Sperm whale
Gray whale

The longest migration is undertaken by gray whales across the Pacific Ocean.

Amazing facts about whales and dolphins

Dive deeper into the world of whales and dolphins and learn more about their lives.

humpback-spyhop-sue-rocca

Facts about whales

Amazing facts about whales, the largest mammals to live on Earth.

Conran & Castillo 2_0715_Charlie Phillips

Facts about dolphins

From the orca to the tiny vaquita, learn more about these creatures.

Adopt an orca Fife

Record-breakers

Whales and dolphins hold some incredible records.

Breaching North Atlantic right whale

Brain power

Just how intelligent are whales and dolphins?

Please help us save whales and dolphins

By adopting a whale or dolphin, by making a donation, or by fundraising for WDC, you can help us provide a safe future for these amazing creatures.

Bottlenose dolphin at surface

Adopt

Adopt a dolphin and help us protect these amazing creatures.

humpback-whale-vanessa-mignon

Donate

Your gifts help us take action for whales and dolphins.

Orca spyhop

Fundraise

Run, bake, walk, cycle… what could you do for whales and dolphins?