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Ready for the experience of a lifetime? Whale watching is on many people’s bucket lists, yet not everyone can say they’ve glimpsed these majestic mammals in their natural environment. We’ll give it our best shot as we take you exploring off the coast where whale watching is.
Any idea about the whales in Sri Lanka?
Whales are warm-blooded, marine mammals which are of the order Cetacea. They breathe air, give birth to live young and are found in all the oceans of the world. Whales are divided into two suborders, the Odontoceti (toothed whales) and Mysticeti (baleen whales). Mysticeti are toothless mammals while instead of teeth, they have a rigid brush like whalebone plate material which is called ‘baleen’ which hangs from their upper jaw area. There are 80 species of whales that have been identified in all oceans, while 26 of them have been recorded up to date in and around the seas of Sri Lanka.
Some of the best whale watching destinations consist of Trincomalee which is at the East coast of Sri Lanka, Alankuda beach near kalpitiya along the west coast and mirissa or Dondra head facing deep south coast. Destinations such as Aluthgama, Ambalangoda, and Hikkaduwa are also known for the sighting of whales.
The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whale parvorder, Mysticeti. At up to 29.9 meters in length and with a maximum recorded weight of 173 tonnes, it is the largest animal known to have ever existed.
The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m and weigh around 25–30 metric tons. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. Its lifespan is 45 – 50 years.
The fin whale, also known as finback whale or common rorqual and formerly known as herring whale or razorback whale, is a marine mammal belonging to the parvorder of baleen whales. It is the second-largest species on Earth after the blue whale.
The killer whale or orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey.
The sperm whale or cachalot is the largest of the toothed whales and the largest toothed predator. It is the only living member of genus Physeter and one of three extant species in the sperm whale family, along with the pygmy sperm whale and dwarf sperm whale of the genus Kogia.
Some of these species are occasional visitors while some are permanent residents around Sri Lankan waters. Most of these whales are seen while migrating from the Arabian seas to the Bay of Bengal. A high concentration of sperm whales and blue whales can be spotted off the coast of Dondra during the months of December to April. According to marine biologists. Also, the best spot to have a glimpse of the sperm whale would be along the North-Western coast in Kalpitiya. Whale watching is also possible during the months of June to September along the East coast such as Trincomalee. Whales are fond of deep waters while they have the tendency to communicate with sound and song.
well-renowned world’s top whale watching destinations are as follows,