There are around 90 species of whales, porpoises, and dolphins roaming around Earth’s waters, and they are a group of marine creatures called ‘cetaceans.’ Whales are one of the biggest animals in the world. Yet, at the same time, they are also one of the oldest living creatures.
Although their numbers were on the decline during the early ’70s to late ’90s due to excessive poaching, their population has seen a huge spike in recent years. However, not all species of whales recover at the same time. There are still some species of whales that recover quicker compared to others. If you are interested and want to learn more about the most common types of whales worldwide, here’s the list!
5 Most Common Types of Whales
Humpback Whale: Megaptera novaeangliae
A list without humpback whales is like a coffee without creamer. If you talk about some of the most common types of whales globally, one of the first whales that come to mind is the humpback whale. Humpback whales have relatively long pectoral fins or flippers. They are one of the more popular types of whales as they get to mingle and showcase their fun side.
Humpback whales are also a type of baleen whale that is medium in size compared to their counterparts, and they have a big blubber layer which makes them have that clumsy-looking body. One of the things that humpback whales are popular for is their breaching behavior; whenever they go for a jump out of the water, the experience is quite majestic, and not often do people witness it. So, if you happen to witness one, grab your phone and take a snap immediately!
Sei Whale: Balaenoptera borealis
Sei whales are among the fastest swimming types of whale species. They have these distinct dark backs and a curved dorsal fin with a white underside. They got their name from the Norwegian word ‘seje,’ which means pollock, a type of fish commonly found within Norway’s coast.
However, Sei whales aren’t well-known among humans as they are some of the most elusive types of whales ever. They aren’t found in bunches or schools and prefers mainly found in the Northern and Southern hemispheres at different times of the year.
Furthermore, sei whales have a huge population back in the 17th to 18th century; however, extensive commercial fishing during the 19th and 20th centuries greatly reduced their population. It was estimated that around 250,000 to 350,000 sei whales were killed in that span.
Minke Whale: Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Minke whales are one of the smallest types of whales in Antarctic waters. However, when it comes to the species of whales, the minke whales are quite abundant and are even considered to be stable throughout the earth’s waters. And, just like with other whales, they got reduced due to extensive whale fishing and overexploitation. But, on the bright side, their reduced population paves the way for them to survive through the years as competition is lessened and increased food availability.
This type of whale greatly varies in size, colorations, patterns, and baleen. Minke whales usually travel around the world in twos or threes—the primary feed on planktons, crustaceans, and various small schools of fish. Minke whales prefer temperate and boreal waters; that’s why they can be found in Antarctic waters more commonly.
While common minke whales are distributed across the globe, dwarf minke whales are widely distributed in southern polar regions. In contrast, Antarctic minke whales have a relatively large population around Antarctic waters.
Sperm whale: Physeter macrocephalus
Sperm whales are one of the most easily recognizable whales in the world. Due to their enormous-square shaped head, people get to witness more often than other whale-type species. They are often found in groups or commonly known as ‘pods’ in which 15 to 25 of them are usually spotted. Sperm whales love tropical to subtropical waters, and male sperm whales usually migrate to higher latitude waters as the years go on.
Also, sperm whales are known to have the biggest brains of all living animals in the world. Their primary diet consists of small schools of fish, mollusks, crustaceans, and many more. Sperm whales use their advanced echolocation abilities to hunt for food, which also helps them cruise through different waters.
They are mainly found in all of the world’s waters but highly prefer deep waters. Furthermore, they are not considered endangered, and they have a significant population; they are one of the few whale species that are considered stable.
Beluga Whale: Delphinapterus leucas
Beluga whales are one of the most highly sociable types of whale species in the world. Together with other belugas, they migrate, travel, and hunt together. A pod of beluga can go up to 15 belugas up to a hundred beluga.
One of their distinctive features is their bulbous head, referred to as ‘melon’; their head can be flexed and changes shape more often. This also allows them to provide different reactions whenever they interact with humans.
Like with other whales, beluga whales also communicate through various chirps, whistles, clicks, and squeals, and because of these styles of communication, they are called the Canaries of the sea. Beluga whales are commonly found in cold waters, especially in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
Their primary diet consists of salmon, herring, crabs, shrimps, and mollusks. Thankfully, the population of beluga whales is on the rise. However, they are still susceptible to various factors such as pollution, climate change, and human activities.
Whales - though they tend to sound scary whenever we hear their names, are also living creatures. Yes, you probably heard about all things they are capable of, but that doesn't mean we don't have to take care of them. Remember, they play a vital role in the oceans, and they have been a part of it for millions of years already.
So whenever we see one, we just need to be careful and just prevent getting near them. We need to preserve them because more of them are extinct already.
Here at ATOLEA, we care so much about the preservation of their natural habitat - the Ocean. Every purchase you have from our elegant Sea-inspired jewelry collection, part of it goes to Ocean conservation charities.