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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Types of Whales in Sri Lanka – Favoured Playground for a 'Whale of a Time'
Joanna James Joanna James
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Types of Whales in Sri Lanka – Favoured Playground for a 'Whale of a Time'

Sri Lanka is an established hub for whale watching. The warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean provide the perfect environment for a great number of these species, to play and nurture their young.


The Mighty Blue Whale

Belonging to the Baleen Whale species, the Blue Whale is classified as an endangered species. Known by the scientific name of Balaenoptera musculus, this marine mammal can grow to lengths of over 30 metres, weighing a staggering 170 tonnes or more. Thus, the blue whale is quite aptly, the largest animal in the world. Did you know the tongue of a blue whale can weigh as much as an elephant! While they are spotted swimming in groups, these mammals are often classified as loners. Indeed, coming across just one of these magnificent animals is quite amazing. It is one of the unforgettable sights to look forward to when staying at hotels such as Heritance Ahungalla, amongst the properties that are quite close to Mirissa, a popular hub for spotting Blue Whales.


Bryde's Whale

Bryde's Whale is classified as belonging to the Rorqual category and is moderately sized compared to the Blue Whale. A Bryde's Whale will grow to average lengths of 45 to 50 feet, and also, belong to the Baleen Whale species to which the Humpback and Blue Whale belong.


Sperm Whale

This species is classified as the largest predator, and the largest toothed of predators. Known scientifically as Physeter macrocephalus, this whale grows to lengths of 52 feet. A special feature is this mammals ability to dive to depths of 2,250 metres in search of its favourite prey; squid. The brain of the sperm whale is the largest amongst earth's living beings and will weigh five times the weight of a human brain. Sperm whales will live for up to 60 years. If you are touring the south-west coast of Sri Lanka, Mirissa is best for whale watching, while an Ahungalla resort is the perfect base from where you can easily enjoy these tours and relish ever popular Bentota attractions; both locations are within an easy to reach radius.


Fin Whale

The Fin Whale or Finback Whale, also known as common Rorqual or razorback is from the sub-species of baleen whales. Second, in girth to the Blue Whale, this species is known to grow to lengths of 89 feet. Famous as the 'Greyhounds of the seas', for its rather slender body, the Fin Whale can weigh around 74 tonnes and is known for its speed which can surpass that of the fastest ocean-going steamship.


Killer Whale

The Killer Whale or Orcinus Orca belongs to the dolphin family. Having a diverse diet, this pointy-toothed mammal lives on a diet of marine life, including mammals such as large whales and pinnipeds. Having sophisticated vocal habits and a very advanced hunting technique, the species are loved for their very sociable nature.