Aquatic mammals

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphin

Tursiops truncatus

The Scottish bottlenose dolphins are considerably larger than their cousins living in the warmer waters off Florida, USA. These dolphins can be between 3 and 4 metres in length and are normally to be seen in pods (groups) of up to ten animals. Pods can fo...

Common dolphin

Common dolphin

Delphinus delphis

Common dolphins are seen every year off the West Coast of Scotland.  They are seen in larger groups than bottlenose dolphins and these superpods can contain over a hundred of individual dolphins. Common dolphins are smaller that bottlenose dolphins and c...

Harbour porpoise

Harbour porpoise

Phocoena phocoena

The harbour porpoise is the smallest species of cetacean found in Scottish waters, being less than two metres long. It weighs about 45 kilos and is usually seen in small groups or schools. A porpoise breathes between 4 and 5 times every minute. As it surf...

Minke whale

Minke whale

Balaenoptera acutorostrata

This is the smallest of the baleen family of whales to be found in Scottish waters, being between 8.5 and 9 metres long. This whale weighs about 10 tonnes and is usually seen singly or as a cow with her calf. When the cow gives birth to a single calf, ...

Killer whale (orca)

Killer whale (orca)

Orcinus orca

Only recently have researchers, primarily Dr. Andy Foote of Aberdeen University, uncovered the facts about the orca populations found off our coasts. While the pods found off the northern and eastern coasts are migratory, following the mackerel and herrin...