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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 7 Types of Whales and Dolphins that can be seen off Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 Types of Whales and Dolphins that can be seen off Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is well on its way to sealing a place as one of the best whale and dolphin watching destinations worldwide. Hook up with the right tour company and enjoy up close encounters with the mammals


The Blue Whale

This is the largest mammal on the earth. Resembling a greyish blue in colour the Blue Whales heart is the size of a small car. Interestingly an adult person can be fitted inside of one of the creature's blood vessels. Blue Whales that weighed up to 220 tonnes measuring a staggering 108 feet have been caught by the whalers of yore.


Sperm Whale

Sperm whales can swim down to vast depths and it is a well known fact that a threatened male Sperm whale can get quite aggressive. It is legendary that many a whaling vessel was rammed and sunk by harpooned male sperm whale, much smaller than the vessels. The female and young whales prefer temperate waters all year round while the males stick to colder waters.


Brydes Whale

The Brydes whale - pronounced as 'Brood-ess' – was often mistaken for the Sei Whale. It was however later noted that the Brydes Whale has three ridges on the top of its head as opposed to the one on the Sei Whales. They are named after Norwegian Johan Bryde who helped set up the first whaling station in Durban South Africa; home territory to the mammals.

Taking on whale watching in Sri Lanka means you stand a good chance of glimpsing or getting an up close look of the beautiful mammals mentioned in this article. The wisest choice is to select a reputed and respected travel company that knows the best locations for spotting the whales. Choose from tour companies such as Jetwing Travels.



The glamourous and most famous of all whales – the killer whale or Orca is made legendary thanks to Hollywood. Catch sights off the shores of Sri Lanka of these black and white mammals, established as the hunters amongst the whale community. They are known as the 'Wolves of the Sea' and justly have fine-tuned hunting skills; that at times include preying on other whales.


Risso's Dolphin

This is the largest in the dolphin family; sporting a rather battered appearance complete with a bulging forehead and very rigid dorsal fin. The battered appearance is due to the many scars on its back caused by squid bites and teeth marks of other marine animals. The dolphins colour is a variant of greyish blue or brown with a white underbelly.


Bottlenose Dolphin

The Bottlenose dolphin is the species that most people conjure up as dolphin images. The species with its long nose are known to traverse tropical and temperate waters. It colouring varies from dark grey to black with a white underbelly.


Stripped Dolphin

The frescos of ancient Greece are rife with images of this rather beautiful dolphin. Common to the Mediterranean and tropics this species have markings on the side that are subtle enough to be hand painted. Stripped dolphins too are known acrobats and will spin, somersault or tail spin when in the mood.

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