A List of the Different Types of Whales

types of whales

There are many different types of whales, and they fall into two suborders of the order, Cetacea. These categories are “toothed whales” and “baleen whales.” Baleen whales are the types most recognized as  traditional whales, while the toothed whale family contains not only some types of whales, but dolphins, and porpoises as well. Here you will only find information on those specifically known as “whales” of both the baleen and toothed variety.

Baleen Whales

Baleen whales are the biggest category not only pyshically but in quantity of species. Baleen whales family the most people think of when they think of whales containing such notable members as the humpback whale, gray whale, and the biggest animal on Earth, the blue whale.

Southern Right Whale

These types of whales are robust, have long baleen plates, and arched mouths that are strong. They have large bumps that are white in color along the edges of their lower jaws, above their eyes, and on top of their head. They lack dorsal fins. Most of them are black, while some are white in color. Similarly, they have large and rounded flippers. Their bulk baleens weigh up to 60 tons and have a length of up to 45 to 55 feet. They have the ability to sail under strong winds using its huge tail flukes.

Humpback Whale

It has some knobby protuberances on its flippers, head, and jaw. It has a humped dorsal fin and long flippers. Near the tip of the lower jaw, it has a rounded projection. It has a black body on its back, some white marks on its side or underneath, and white color on its flippers and at the underside of the tail flukes. If you have come across this type of whale, then you will agree that it raises its tail flukes before diving.

Blue Whales

Blue Whales are the largest living animal on earth. They have about 50 to 70 pleated throat grooves. They weigh up to 120 tons and are about 80 feet long.


Sei Whale

It has a streamlined body and an exceedingly curved dorsal fin. Its body has a white underneath and a dark back. It weighs up to 45, 000 kg and it is about 40 to 60 feet long. It has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years. It is one of the fastest whale species in the world and the third largest.

Fin Whale

It is the second largest animal in the whole world. It has a streamlines baleen and a sleek appearance. It is asymmetrically-colored since it lacks a white patch on its lower jaw on the left side which is present at its right side.

Bowhead Whale

It has high, arched jaw that has a bow-shape. It has a blubber layer that is over 1.5 feet thick, which insulates it from cold. No wonder, it is able to survive the cold climate of Arctic.

Right Whales

North Atlantic Right Whale

It has a thick blubber layer. Scientists use its callosities that are present at the right side of its head to catalog and identify individuals.

North Pacific Right Whale

There are only 30 types of this whale that are remaining in the whole world making it highly endangered. It is similar in appearance to the North Atlantic Right Whale.

Bryde’s Whale

It is weighs about 45 tons and has a length of about 45 to 55 feet. Mostly, it resides in subtropical and tropical waters.

Omura’s Whale

It weighs about 22 tons and is about 40 feet in length.

Gray Whale

Its baleen is medium in size. Its skin has a beautiful gray coloration that has some white patches and spots. One of its populations is nearly extinct, while the other has recovered from the brink of extinction.

Common Minke Whale

This type of whale is small in size, and is about 20 to 30 feet long. North Pacific minke whale, dwarf minke whale, and North Atlantic whale are the most common subspecies of minke whale.

Antarctic Minke Whale

In summer, it is found in the Antarctic region, while in the winter it is found near the equator.

Toothed Whales

Toothed whales belong to the suborder Odontoceti which belongs within the order Cetacea. This suborder contains whales, including the beaked whales. It also includes dolphins and porpoises, but those won’t be listed here.

Dwarf Sperm Whales

These types of whales have small compact bodies that taper towards their tails. Their dorsal fins have varying shapes that include triangular, falcate, pointed, or curved. Their length is about 9 feet long and their weight is about 300 to 600 pounds.

Beluga Whale

It has a rounded forehead and white coloration all over its body. It has teeth and hunts its prey using echolocation.


These whales have two teeth in their upper jaw. They grow up to 16 feet in length, and they weigh up to 1.8 tons. They have bluish-gray with white blotches. They have thick layers of blubber that insulate them during cold seasons. as a result, you will find these type of whales in the cold climate.

Beaked Whales

Beaked whales belong to various genera in the Family Ziphiidae which is a family in the toothed whale suborder.

Andrew’s Beaked Whale

It has beak that is moderate in length. Similarly, it has an arched jaw that hosts the teeth in adult males. Females are counter shaded while the males one is darker with pale beaks.

1 Comment

  1. Whales are wonderful creatures. Some times i imagine the kind of food that will satisfy them and what they feed on to survive. It’s amazine seeing such large creature swiming in ocean. I want to use this medium encourage environmental protection agencies and activist in the global community to protect and conserve Whales in their various species. I still wish if large mamals that have gone extinct to come back. What do you think?

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