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Species guide

Find out more about whales and dolphins

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

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Multiple belugas moved in US marine parks

Multiple belugas moved in US marine parks

Iceland to kill over two thousand fin and minke whales

Iceland to kill over two thousand fin and minke whales

How we are working with communities to build a whale sanctuary

How we are working with communities to build a whale sanctuary

Record numbers of dolphins dead on French beaches

Record numbers of dolphins dead on French beaches

Dolphinaris Arizona will no longer hold dolphins

Dolphinaris Arizona will no longer hold dolphins

How do you fly two beluga whales half way around the world?

How do you fly two beluga whales half way around the world?

Canada announces 2019 plans to protect North Atlantic right whales

Canada announces 2019 plans to protect North Atlantic right whales

Controversial captive dolphin facility to close following another dolphin death

Controversial captive dolphin facility to close following another dolphin death

Plastic found in all whales and dolphins examined for UK research project

Plastic found in all whales and dolphins examined for UK research project

Another dolphin dies at Dolphinaris Arizona

Another dolphin dies at Dolphinaris Arizona

Orcas and belugas held in appalling ‘whale jail’

Orcas and belugas held in appalling ‘whale jail’

Are France and Spain looking to weaken protection for whales and dolphins?

Are France and Spain looking to weaken protection for whales and dolphins?

Collision With A Gray Whale Eliminates Yacht From Sailing Race

Collision With A Gray Whale Eliminates Yacht From Sailing Race

Plastic is not whale food

Plastic pollution in the oceans

'What do we want? TO SAVE THE WHALES! When do we want it? NOW!'

'What do we want? TO SAVE THE WHALES! When do we want it? NOW!'

Orcas held in Russian whale jail face threat from ice

Orcas held in Russian whale jail face threat from ice

Rubbish on a beach

Pollution

Another orca death at SeaWorld

Another orca death at SeaWorld

No change in Norway as number of whales to be killed remains high

No change in Norway as number of whales to be killed remains high

Wow – orcas pay a surprise visit to Scotland’s Moray Firth!

Wow – orcas pay a surprise visit to Scotland’s Moray Firth!

Japan to resume commercial hunts the day after leaving IWC

Japan to resume commercial hunts the day after leaving IWC

Risso's dolphins

Dolphins and porpoises – meet the different species

Icelandic whaling report raises concerns

Icelandic whaling report raises concerns

The Yogscast deliver another amazing Christmas gift to WDC

The Yogscast deliver another amazing Christmas gift to WDC

Mercury Learning STEM bundle raises $79,000 for WDC

Mercury Learning STEM bundle raises $79,000 for WDC

WDC and Clarity launch local Urban Beach Clean initiative to tackle plastic pollution

WDC and Clarity launch local Urban Beach Clean initiative to tackle plastic pollution

Japan is leaving the Whaling Commission to start commercial whaling – and it is a big deal

Japan is leaving the Whaling Commission to start commercial whaling – and it is a big deal

Fossil discovery suggests ancient whale hunted other whales

Fossil discovery suggests ancient whale hunted other whales

Belugas on board

Belugas on board

Rescuers search for sperm whale in Scottish loch

Rescuers search for sperm whale in Scottish loch

Japan officially announces intention to start commercial whaling again

Japan officially announces intention to start commercial whaling again

Read all about it! Buy books and save whales with Mercury Learning  and Humble Bundle

Read all about it! Buy books and save whales with Mercury Learning and Humble Bundle

Japan to withdraw from International Whaling Commission and start hunting whales for commercial profit

Japan to withdraw from International Whaling Commission and start hunting whales for commercial profit

European Union agrees ban on some single-use plastics

European Union agrees ban on some single-use plastics

Canada takes steps to phase out Atlantic salmon fish farms

Canada takes steps to phase out Atlantic salmon fish farms

A new opportunity to stop Japan’s whaling?

A new opportunity to stop Japan’s whaling?

Play games and save whales – Gamers for Orcas event returns in March

Play games and save whales – Gamers for Orcas event returns in March

Remembering Hardy Jones

Remembering Hardy Jones

Canada expands critical habitat for at-risk orca populations

Canada expands critical habitat for at-risk orca populations

Will Japan leave the International Whaling Commission?

Will Japan leave the International Whaling Commission?

US Senate wants to kill nearly 1,000 sea lions a year

US Senate wants to kill nearly 1,000 sea lions a year

How did whales evolve?

How did whales evolve?

What are the differences between whales, dolphins and porpoises?

What are the differences between whales, dolphins and porpoises?

What is baleen?

What is baleen?

No EU-Japan trade agreement unless Japan stops whaling!

No EU-Japan trade agreement unless Japan stops whaling!

The Winding Way of Whales & Wind Farms

The Winding Way of Whales & Wind Farms

Success! Controversial plan for oil transfers between ships in important dolphin habitat dropped

Success! Controversial plan for oil transfers between ships in important dolphin habitat dropped

Trump Administration to authorise permits to allow seismic testing in endangered North Atlantic right whale habitat

Trump Administration to authorise permits to allow seismic testing in endangered North Atlantic right whale habitat

What we must do to protect UK dolphins, porpoises and whales from fishing gear after Brexit

What we must do to protect UK dolphins, porpoises and whales from fishing gear after Brexit

It’s only one plastic straw, said eight billion people

It’s only one plastic straw, said eight billion people

Reform essential to tackle rising UK wildlife crime and ‘appallingly low’ number of convictions

Reform essential to tackle rising UK wildlife crime and ‘appallingly low’ number of convictions

Indigenous community in Norway seek permission to hunt dolphins

Indigenous community in Norway seek permission to hunt dolphins

Over 100 pilot whales die after stranding in New Zealand

Over 100 pilot whales die after stranding in New Zealand

Fin whales controversially taken off endangered list

Fin whales controversially taken off endangered list

Stranded whale had 6 kg of plastic inside their body

Stranded whale had 6 kg of plastic inside their body

Urgent step change needed to stop dolphins suffering in fishing nets

Urgent step change needed to stop dolphins suffering in fishing nets

New actions announced in Canada to protect Southern Resident orcas

New actions announced in Canada to protect Southern Resident orcas

Norwegian government minister donates huge sum to help increase falling whale meat sales

Norwegian government minister donates huge sum to help increase falling whale meat sales

WDC launches guest T-shirt range with hit Twitter account @awhalefact

WDC launches guest T-shirt range with hit Twitter account @awhalefact

Iceland shipment to Japan could contain meat from rare hybrid whales

Iceland shipment to Japan could contain meat from rare hybrid whales

Common minke whale

Whales – meet the different species

Japan's minke whale hunt season starts under cloud of controversy

Japan's minke whale hunt season starts under cloud of controversy

North Atlantic right whale

North Atlantic right whale

Amazing tales: adventures of the WDC adoption dolphins

Amazing tales: adventures of the WDC adoption dolphins

Orcas and belugas held in Russian 'whale prison'

Orcas and belugas held in Russian 'whale prison'

Philip Hoare reflects on New Zealand dolphins

Philip Hoare reflects on New Zealand dolphins

How to protect the whales and other marine mammals of the Antarctic’s Southern Ocean

How to protect the whales and other marine mammals of the Antarctic’s Southern Ocean

Record-breaking donation boosts WDC’s work to end captivity

Record-breaking donation boosts WDC’s work to end captivity

Footballs used to highlight plastic waste

Footballs used to highlight plastic waste

UK Fisheries Bill launched today

UK Fisheries Bill launched today

Bill to outlaw captivity of whales and dolphins finally passes Canadian Senate

Bill to outlaw captivity of whales and dolphins finally passes Canadian Senate

How long do dolphins live?

How long do dolphins live?

How do dolphins give birth?

How do dolphins give birth?

What is a group of dolphins called?

What is a group of dolphins called?

How many teeth do dolphins have?

How many teeth do dolphins have?

Where do dolphins live?

Where do dolphins live?

Study reveals plastic now inside humans

Study reveals plastic now inside humans

How are dolphins different from fish?

How are dolphins different from fish?

How many species of dolphins are there?

How many species of dolphins are there?

Shop and sell on eBay to save whales and dolphins

Shop and sell on eBay to save whales and dolphins

Do whales and dolphins grieve for their dead?

Do whales and dolphins grieve for their dead?

How do dolphins sleep?

How do dolphins sleep?

The joy of wild whale watching

The joy of wild whale watching

How do dolphins see underwater and what is echolocation?

How do dolphins see underwater and what is echolocation?

Do whales and dolphins have hair?

Do whales and dolphins have hair?

Why do whale and dolphin tails go up and down?

Why do whale and dolphin tails go up and down?

Do whales and dolphins have families?

Do whales and dolphins have families?

Which is the largest whale species?

Which is the largest whale species?

Can dolphins fight off sharks?

Can dolphins fight off sharks?

How do whales and dolphins breathe?

How do whales and dolphins breathe?

What do whales and dolphins eat?

What do whales and dolphins eat?

How intelligent are dolphins?

How intelligent are dolphins?

UK Government failed to designate sufficient sites to protect smallest member of whale and dolphin family says EU Court of Justice

UK Government failed to designate sufficient sites to protect smallest member of whale and dolphin family says EU Court of Justice

Search results

Search results

Federal appeals court rejects petition to reopen case for captive-held orca Tokitae

Federal appeals court rejects petition to reopen case for captive-held orca Tokitae

Last chance to see pink river dolphins?

Last chance to see pink river dolphins?

Think twice before booking a luxury ‘snorkel with whales’ safari

Think twice before booking a luxury ‘snorkel with whales’ safari

Coca-Cola listed as top ocean plastic polluter in global audit report

Coca-Cola listed as top ocean plastic polluter in global audit report

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.

20140904 - Fife (A60) - Jared Towers

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?