Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Animal Olympics – The Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises are the record breakers!

As we focus on our own sporting prowess at the London 2012 Olympics, maybe it is a good time to think about some of the gold-medal holders in the animal kingdom too.

Humpback whale

LONGEST SWIM
The longest mammal migrations are made by the whales too – a humpback travelling from its feeding ground in Antarctica to the breeding ground off Colombia may cover 5,176 miles (8,334 km). The gray whales are also contenders for this gold medal and also cover vast distances.

Sperm whale

DEEPEST DIVING
The deepest diving mammal is probably the sperm whale. 2000 m has been recorded but indirect evidence indicates that they may go a further 1000 m. The beaked whale family are contenders for this medal too and are known to dive to similar depths.

LONGEST DIVER
The record for the longest dive may belong to the sperm whale too – two hours and 18 minutes were recorded. Team Beaked Whale is again a contender in this sport.

Blue whale

LARGEST
Of course the largest animal on Earth is the blue whale – the heaviest recorded weighed 209 tons (190 tonnes) and the longest measured 110 feet and 2 inches (33.5 m). A similar length to a Boeing 737 jet airliner. (The fin whale comes second!) 

LOUDEST VOICE
The loudest sounds made by any animal also come from the blue whale (and the fin whale) – these low frequency pulses can be up to 188 decibels.

MOST TUNEFUL
The longest and most complex song produced by any animal is that of the humpback whale. Each song may last for half any hours and contains many components.

Team Whale are also contenders in the following events:

Dall's porpoise

FASTEST SWIMMER
Dall’s porpoises can reach 30 knots which is about 34.5 miles per hour.

Spinner dolphin

MARINE GYMNASTICS
The spinner dolphins with their amazing high spinning leaps from the water might be the gold medallists here but don’t discount the amazing aerial displays by the humpback whales.

LONGEST LIVED
Perhaps not really a sport but certainly an important attribute and the bowhead whale is now known to live up to about 200 years. This probably makes them the longest-lived vertebrate animal.