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NOW READING: Mind-Blowing Comparison: Are Dolphins Whales?

Are dolphins whales

Mind-Blowing Comparison: Are Dolphins Whales?

Many times, you may have thought dolphins are whales. But are they? They both lived in the same habitat and can create the same sounds, for some matter. So, the majority of the people would conclude that whales are dolphins, and dolphins are whales. Yet, most of those who have seen these two say that they differ in many ways.

Let's Figure Out If Dolphins Are Whales

While it may seem confusing in all aspects, there are more things that you need to know about the question “are dolphins whales?”. But, one thing is for sure, dolphins are a part of the whale family! So, if you're curious to learn more about dolphins and whales, you're in the right post.

Find out in this post how dolphins and whales differ from each other and what aspects they are alike in. See more helpful information below. 

Dolphins and Whales

In general, dolphins and whales or even porpoises are categorized as Cetacea. Within this classification, there are two groups: the toothed and baleen whales. Baleen whales are best described to be large species. That means the largest of the largest belongs to this family. Such animals include humpbacks and blue whales.  

On the other hand, Orcas and Dolphins belong to the group of toothed whales. In truth, orcas are best known to be the largest dolphins, growing about 32 feet or 10 meters long. Meanwhile, the usual dolphins only measure from eight to nine feet in length. 

So, in this part, one can conclude that Orcas are dolphins and that dolphins are whales. So, the next time someone asks you if “Are dolphins whales?” you’ll certainly know the answer. But, wait! There are a lot more things that can make your mind blow away.

Are dolphins whales

Fun Fact About Whales & Dolphins

These species are mammals; they need to go up to the surface to breathe; they do this through their blowholes. Both animals are also intelligent, and they can produce sounds and vocalizations to communicate with one another. However, take note that blue whales can talk to each other mostly underwater.

Though most humans are not familiar with how they sound, one can compare it with the whistles and clicks, which you can often hear from the dolphins. Besides, dolphins can echolocate, where most large whales cannot. Echolocate means that they can identify the speed and distance of a particular object through the echo they produce. Simply amazing!

How Both Mammals Eat

Another interesting fact about large whales is that they eat smaller foods but in huge volumes. That means that they take tons of small fish instead of praying to large ones. Dolphins, on the other hand, eat many crustaceans and fish such as shrimp. 

Other Things To Know

As we answer the question above, “are dolphins whales?” There are more fun things that you can know about this species. Dolphins and whales usually travel by group. They do this for safety and to hunt their food. Dolphin pods, on average, can move in between a few individuals to thousands because of their natural charm and amiable characteristics. 

Contrary to this thought, other types of whales merely travel by one or two of their groups only. The larger the size of the whales, the lesser it is more prone to attack than the regular dolphins.

Whales and dolphins comparison
Whales and dolphins difference

Dolphins & Whales Giving Birth

Both of these sea creatures procreate less than the other types of animals. They only have one baby at a time, making them similar to humans. Thus, dolphins give birth every two or three years, as more giant whales can give birth around two or five years. Another interesting fact is that dolphins can be pregnant for about ten to twelve months, depending on the type of species. Relatively, orcas can carry their child for about 18 months.

More Facts About Whales & Dolphins

Other than the previous facts mentioned above, here are some added details on how whales and dolphins differ and are alike.

Neck Vertebrae

One of the main differences that you can find between these two animals is their neck vertebrae. Whales have developed over a period to have fused neck vertebrae. This is an adaptation that enables them to carry their weight out of their heads. But, of course, as you know, dolphins have a more flexible neck, to which they can turn comfortably.

Similarities of dolphins and whales

Dorsal Finds 

Together with their size, both mammals have different kinds of dorsal fins with their physique. For the most part, whales might only have tiny dorsal fins or don't have any at all. On the other hand, Dolphins have well-defined and built dorsal fins that enable them to swim around.


Dolphins have one of the largest brains any animal could have. They are also considered to be brilliant individuals among all other sea creatures. The truth is, kill whales; a toothed whale has the second-largest brain of any animal.


Another difference that you can identify between these two species is their blowholes. Initially, larger whales have two blowholes, while toothed whales like dolphins have only one. However, dolphins' blowhole structure differs from the usual whales, enabling them to create many whistles to talk with one another.

Uniqueness of whales and dolphins


Dolphins have a different way of being social than most large whales. For instance, if you have visited many ocean parks and zoos, you can conclude that dolphins are highly sociable and friendly animals. This does not only apply with their same kinds, but also with humans around them. They tend to be more playful and easier to go with than the bigger whales. 

Giant whales, on the other hand, tend to be more solitary. As a result, you may often see them swimming around the surface of the ocean, only to breathe and do some mind-blowing tricks with their blowholes. 


So, that initially sums up all the points that we need to gather if dolphins and whales are similar or dissimilar from one another. Either way, we hope you get our points on how both mammals are in the same family.

So, when asked if “are dolphins whales?” you probably know what the answer would be! It's amazing to know these kinds of tricks. So, why not share the symbol with this kind of animal and gift someone with an ATOLEA Ocean-inspired jewelry? Well, if you can, hurry and grab one now!

Facts about whales and dolphins

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