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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for 5 Types of Whales to Spot in Seas Around Sri Lanka - Go Whale Watching in Sri Lanka
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Types of Whales to Spot in Seas Around Sri Lanka - Go Whale Watching in Sri Lanka

Whale watching is one of the most thrilling things you can do in Sri Lanka. You get the chance to get close to some of Nature's most majestic creatures and the experience will take your breath away!


Blue Whales

Spotting a blue whale has to be on your list of 'Things to Do in Kalutara' and there are whale watching tour operators located around the hotels in Kalutara, including AVANI Kalutara Resort. These astounding marine mammals can measure up to 29.9 metres in length with a maximum weight of 173 tonnes despite feeding on a diet consisting exclusively of krill. Blue whales are the largest animals known in existence. Once abundant in our oceans, they were almost hunted to extinction by whalers until the species obtained protected status in 1966. People who are lucky enough to spot a blue whale often marvel at its deep blue and grey shades.


Killer Whales

Also known as Orcas, you may be familiar with this species of whale from the movie, Free Willy. These striking whales have a distinctive appearance with black and white colouring, a heavy body and a prominent dorsal fin. They are defined as apex predators as they are at the top of the food chain; preying on fish, sea turtles, seabirds and mammals. Killers whales are found in most oceans and they can be spotted off Sri Lanka's coast.


Byrde's Whales

This species of whale are baleen whales which means that they have a filter-feeder system made of hair in their mouth. Byrde's whales have elongated bodies and the height of their body is normally a mere one-seventh of their total length. These whales are a smoky grey and white in colour. When Byrde's whales blow underwater, the blow has a distinctive column which can be easily spotted by whale watchers. If you are lucky enough to catch sight of a Byrde's whale, it is likely that there is another one close by as they normally travel in pairs.


Fin Whales

Yet another species of baleen whale, this species is the second largest whale after the blue whale. The largest confirmed length is an awe-striking 85 feet. Despite this immense length, it has a slender body which has earned it the unusual description as "the greyhound of the sea". Fin whales are brownish grey with pale coloured undersides. This species calls cool and temperate waters home so you may be lucky enough to see one of these endangered whales in Sri Lankan waters.


Sperm Whales

This is one of the largest toothed whales and is known as the world's largest predator with teeth. This species of whale cannot be easily mistaken for any other species because they have unusually large block-shaped heads which account for almost one-third of their length. Although Sperm whales average about 52 feet in length, their claim to fame is their diving ability. They are the world's second deepest divers apart from Cuvier's beaked whales. They are most likely to pass through Sri Lankan waters during their migration for breeding.