Dolphin vs Whale

Dolphin
Whale

Dolphins and whales are large marine mammals of the order Cetacea. They are believed to be descendants of terrestrial mammals, most likely of the Artiodactyl order. The term whale generally refers to all cetaceans except dolphins and porpoises.

Comparison chart

Edit this comparison chart

Dolphin

Whale

Size Dolphin sizes vary from 4 ft to 30 ft. Whale sizes vary from 11 ft to 115 ft.
Teeth Structure Dolphin teeth are conical. Some whale have baleen.
Social Behavior Dolphins are very social and tend to show a less fear of human than porpoises. Whales are social creatures and live in groups; but they are not as friendly to humans as dolphins are.
Gestation period 11 to 17 months 10 to 13 months

Contents: Dolphin vs Whale

edit Similarities

Dolphins and whales have forelimbs modified as fins and nasal openings (blowholes) on top of the head. The end of the tail is composed of two flukes, and is used for propulsion. Other similarities include their sense organs, vocalization and sleeping methods. Dolphin and whales hunt for food by use of echolocation. i.e. they direct clicks into the water and listen to the strength of the rebounded echo from which they know the distance from the feed.

edit Differences

edit Video: Killer whales hunting a dolphin

This video shows a group of five orcas hunting a dolphin that is exhausted and separated from its pod. It was shot off the coast of South Africa. Despite their name, orcas (killer whales) actually belong to the dolphin family.

edit Intelligence

Dolphins and whales are equally intelligent. After years of research, scientists have said that cetaceans (including porpoises, dolphins and whales) are highly intelligent, and should therefore have rights just like humans.[1]

edit Social Behavior

Whales are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and even grieve. Some species communicate with melodic sounds, known as whale song others make click like sound which can be very loud. Whale vocalizations seem to serve many purposes, like echolocation, mating, and identification. Scientists studying whale and dolphin communication repertoires have estimated that

bottlenose dolphins have a repertoire of 27 single letter syllables, five 2-letter syllables and four or five 3-letter syllables. By contrast, humpback whales have a repertoire of only six single letter syllables but use seventeen or eighteen 2-letter syllables (the data is not extensive enough to reveal the repertoire of 3-letter syllables).

Dolphins are social, living in pods of up to a dozen individuals. In places with a high abundance of food, pods can merge temporarily, forming a superpod, which may exceed 1,000 dolphins. They communicate using a variety of clicks, whistles and other vocalizations, and ultrasonic sounds for echolocation. Dolphins can establish strong social bonds. They will stay with injured or ill individuals, even helping them to breathe by bringing them to the surface if needed.

Here's a video showing a group of dolphins helping an injured group member stay on the surface (read accompanying story):

edit Calling each other by name

A study has shown that bottlenose dolphins name themselves using a unique whistling sound and, when separated or otherwise stressed, call their loves ones (such as a mother or a close male friend) by their "name". Other than humans, dolphins are the only known species know to be able to do this.[2]

edit Feeding

Baleen whales such as humpbacks and blues feed only in arctic waters, eating mostly krill. The humpback whales form a ring of bubbles around their prey and thus obstruct their path of escape. Watch this video: Humpback Whale: Hunting Technique

Certain species of dolphins come closer to shore for feeding. They also chase fish into shallow water to catch them easily. Another method which they adopt is driving prey onto mud banks for easy access. Watch this video: Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins mud-ring feeding

edit "Whales" that are genetically dolphins

Six species in the family Delphinidae are called "whales" but genetically are dolphins:

  1. Melon-headed Whale, Peponocephala electra
  2. Killer Whale (Orca), Orcinus orca
  3. Pygmy Killer Whale, Feresa attenuata
  4. False Killer Whale, Pseudorca crassidens
  5. Long-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala melas
  6. Short-finned Pilot Whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus

edit References

Comments: Dolphin vs Whale

Your IP address will be logged and parts of it shown publicly.
Write <youtube v=YouTubeVideoID /> to embed a YouTube video in your comment.
Comments with links (URLs) are not allowed because we get overrun by spam.

December 6, 2012, 12:26am

Dude! There is a picture that is labeled as whale. However the depicted creature is not a whale. Geneticly speaking, it is not even close. Whales, dolphins and porposes all belong in the cetacia order in the mammal class. Most mammals are terrestrial and furry. Examples are dogs, cats, horses, mice and humans. The depicted creature is a whale shark. It belongs in the cartalige fish class. This group has other sharks as well as rays and chimeras. The members are all aquatic with a fishy look. Mammals and cartilage fish are both vertibrites and they both have jaws. Otherwize they are compleatly unrelated to eachother. Cetacians and sharks do look similar due to convergent evolution. They independantly evolved the same kinds of adaptations for the same opean ocean environment. Here is a way to tell them apart. The flat fin on the tail is verticle in fish and horizontal in cetacians. I recommend changing the picture.

— 129.✗.✗.73
0
Stay informed Related Comparisons
Follow Diffen
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »
Top 5 Comparisons Recently Compared

share

Up next

Dolphin vs. Porpoise