Whale vs Dolphin: Difference and Comparison

There are so many creatures that live in water. We can find the various sizes and types of Creatures in oceans. Dolphins and Whales are the two kinds of Creatures that live in oceans.

Key Takeaways

  1. Whales are larger and have a more elongated body shape, while dolphins are smaller and more streamlined.
  2. Whales have a single blowhole on top of their head, while dolphins have two blowholes on top of their head.
  3. Whales have a more complex social structure than dolphins, with some species migrating long distances together in groups called pods.

Whale vs Dolphin  

The difference between Whale and Dolphin is that Whale is a creature from the Cetacea family, whereas Dolphin is a creature from the Delphinidae family. The dolphin family is a subfamily that comes under the Cetacea family. There are 16 various species in Whales, where the Dolphin has 40 different species. All Dolphins come under Whales criteria, but Whales are not Dolphins.  

Whale vs Dolphin

The Whale is a living creature that lives underwater. An individual can find whales in oceans. These are large, where the 16 various Creatures are available under the Whales family.

Dolphins are known as small whales, and there are 40 various genera under Dolphins. Dolphins are within the Infraorder, where these come under animal criteria.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Whale   Dolphin 
Meaning    The Whale is an animal that lives underwater which is known as a living creature. Dolphin is an animal that lives in oceans.  
Labels    The expanded name of the Whale is Baleen Whale and, it is also called Whalebone Whale. Dolphin has other names that come under the genus of Dolphins. 
Scientific Name The scientific label for this creature is Mysticeti. Delphinus Delphis had called scientifically. 
Species There are 16 strains in the whales’ family. Dolphin consists of 40 various kinds. 
Difference Whales are large, where dolphins are known as small whales. Whales do not come under dolphins, where the Dolphins family is a sub-family of Cetacea. 

What is Whale?  

The Whale is primarily known as an animal that lives underwater. An individual can find these Whales in oceans where these are not available in small rivers.

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The Whales are scientifically known as Mysticeti, which are large. These are harmful living creatures that live underwater. Usually, the Whales family have genus creatures, whereas Dolphins are the sub-family of the Whale family.

  • Orca is the type that comes under the Whale family. This Whale is different from other whale species. The Orca can travel 56km in an hour, whereas the normal fin whales can travel up to 46km/hour. Some of the kinds in Whales are  
  • Sperm Whale  
  • Orca  
  • Fin Whale  
  • Bowhead Whale  
  • Humpback Whale  
  • Narwhal Whale  
  • Grey Whale  
  • Common Winke Whale  

The above are some of the kinds of Whales, and there are so many types with their respective families. These kinds of Whales contain long-side lower jaws with gums in baleen plates.  


What is Dolphin?  

A dolphin is a living creature that comes under animals. Dolphins are animals that live underwater. The Dolphin belongs to the Delphinidae family, which is a sub-division of the Cetacea order.

Dolphins mention the families like Delphinidae, Platanistidea, Iniidea, and Phontoporiidea. One of the famous species of dolphins is Orca. The weight, length, and speed are equal to the Whales.

Some books had been written on the Dolphins. Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Music of Dolphins are the two books that belong to the Dolphins. Some of the kinds in Dolphins are   

  • Orca  
  • Striped Dolphin  
  • Common Bottlenose Dolphins  
  • Amazon River Dolphins  
  • South Asian River Dolphin  
  •  Spinner Dolphin  
  • Chilean Dolphin  

The above are some of the kinds of Dolphins, and all the Dolphins come under small whales. The orca is an enormous Dolphin that is 30 feet long. In Contrast, Muia is a tiny creature in the Dolphins family.  


Main Differences Between Whale and Dolphin  

  1. Whales live in oceans where Dolphins live under fresh water and these will train for competitions.  
  2. The scientific label for this creature is Mysticeti, whereas Delphinus Delphis had called it scientifically.  
Difference Between Whale and Dolphin
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-294X.1996.tb00362.x
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0336-y?fbclid=IwAR0raYaCrjWJsjSxnLNIUdTMM7vNDU3PybPLjKW4xzgvwO8l9T6w13PNP18
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944200618300473
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Last Updated : 26 August, 2023

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