Marine Mammals Archives - Oceana Canada

Pacific White-sided Dolphin

Pacific white-sided dolphins are a truly acrobatic species of dolphin that love to show off. They are frequently seen riding the bows and wakes of ships, and will even perform spectacular leaps, flips, spins and somersaults at high speeds. Their behavious are not exactly subtle, and all this splashing around, swimming at high speeds and … Read more


Orcas are highly adaptable. They are found in every ocean in the world and likely have the largest geographic distribution of any species, after humans. They are one of the ocean’s top predators. In fact, their nickname “killer whale” comes from their reputation of being ferocious predators, exhibiting dramatic behaviours when toying with their prey. … Read more


Narwhals are an Arctic whale species, commonly identified by their unique tusk which protrudes from their foreheads. This tusk has coined them the nickname “the unicorns of the sea.” They are considered a social species, often travelling in a social group of two to 12 individuals. Narwhals hold great cultural significance and continue to be … Read more

North Atlantic Right Whale

North Atlantic right whales are baleen whales, meaning they filter their food through bristles made of keratin in their mouths. They’re seasonal feeders, spending their summers feeding on copepods in the northern part of their range. When winter arrives, they travel between Newfoundland and the Gulf of St. Lawrence down the eastern United States as … Read more

Sea Otter

Sea otters are a charismatic marine mammal found in the north east Pacific Ocean. As a keystone species, sea otters are a critical member of the kelp forest ecosystems they live in. They are foragers, mostly eating hard-shelled invertebrates such as sea urchins. By keeping the population of kelp-grazing sea urchins to a minimum, sea … Read more

Fin Whale

Fin whales are the second largest animals on Earth, only the blue whale is larger. Despite their massive size, fin whales have a slender and streamlined body that helps them to reach speeds up to 40 km/hr, making them one of the fastest swimmers of all the whales and earning their nickname of the “greyhounds … Read more

Pilot Whale

Pilot whales are the second largest species of dolphin, after the orca. They are incredibly social, living communally in matriarchal pods. These pods usually include 10 to 20 individuals, but some “super pods” can have hundreds of individuals. Their name is derived from the idea that the pod follows a leader or “pilot” when travelling. … Read more

Humpback Whale

Humpback whales are renowned for their charismatic, awe-inspiring behaviours above and below the ocean’s surface. Humpbacks frequently launch themselves into the air and land with a splash, known as breaching. They also slap the surface of the water with their long, jagged pectoral fins, the largest relative to body size of any whale. Their equally … Read more

Bowhead Whale

The bowhead whale’s name comes from the bow-shape of its large upper jaw. Its jaw holds the longest baleen plates of any whale, reaching up to four meters long! Bowhead whales use these plates to filter water for food, like zooplankton, krill and small fish. Their large heads makes up one third of their body … Read more