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Cetaceans of Galapagos

Pod of dolphins in Galapagos
© Jon Anderson

Common name:

Whales, dolphins and porpoises

Scientific name:


Spanish name:


Conservation status:

Least Concern


Average lifespan:

Up to 50 years

Average size:

1.5 - 16 metres

Average weight:

100 kilogrames – 30 tonnes


The Cromwell current’s upwelling in the western waters of Galapagos draws in many residents and transient species of cetaceans, particularly in the region between Isabela and Fernandina islands. 

Types of cetaceans can be distinguished by their mode of feeding, typically classifying them into baleen whales (filter feeders) and toothed whales (hunt and eat). There are 24 different species of cetacean that have been recorded within the Galapagos Marine Reserve, many being perennial (all-year-round) inhabitants, with a select few, namely blue whales and humpback whales, paying seasonal visits to Galapagos waters. While not native to the Archipelago, three species of dolphin – bottlenose, spinner and common dolphins – pay frequent visits to the islands and are the most commonly seen cetacean in Galapagos.

Cetaceans in Galapagos

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Read more about cetaceans in Galapagos...

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