Difference Between Whale and Dolphin

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


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Whale vs Dolphin  

The difference between Whale and Dolphin is that Whale is a creature from the Cetacea family, where 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 are coming 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 where 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 do not available in small rivers.

The Whales are scientifically known as Mysticeti, where these are large. These are harmful living creatures that live underwater. Usually, the Whales family have genus creatures, where 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, where the normal fin whales can travel up to 46km/hr. Some of the kinds in Whales are  
  • Sperm Whale  
  • Orca  
  • Fin Whale  
  • Bowhead Whale  
  • Humpback Whale  
  • Narwhal Whale  
  • Gray Whale  
  • Common Winke Whale  

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


What is Dolphin?  

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 to the families like Delphinidae, Platanistidea, Iniidea, Phontoporiidea. One of the famous species in Dolphin is Orca. The weight, length, speed is equal to the Whales.

Some books had been written on the Dolphins. Island of the Blue Dolphins, 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 in Dolphins and, all the Dolphins comes under small whales. Orca is an enormous Dolphin by having 30 feet long. In Contrast, Muia is a tiny creature in the Dolphins family.  


Main Differences Between Whale and Dolphin  

  1. Whales’ lives in oceans where Dolphins lives under fresh water and, these will train for competitions.  
  2. The scientific label for this creature is Mysticeti, Where Delphinus Delphis had called 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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