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9 Animals Like Dolphins (How They’re Alike)

The ocean is full of fish and marine mammals, and dolphins are one of the most well-known of these. While dolphins are popular ocean animals, there are plenty of other species with similar traits. There are animals like dolphins due to their native regions, diets, and more. Let’s learn some more about these species that may be thought of as similar to dolphins.

9 Animals Like Dolphins

Throughout the oceans of the world, these 10 animals are some of the most like dolphins.

1. Orca

  • Scientific name: Orcinus orca
  • How are they like dolphins: They have a similar appearance, diet, and geographical range.

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the animals most similar to dolphins. These mammals are technically called toothed whales, but appear to closely resemble a cross between your typical whale and dolphin. They have a similar body shape as common types of dolphins, similar diets, and can be found in many of the same regions.

Orcas and dolphins will hunt crabs, fish, and more. As the nickname suggests, killer whales are fearsome hunters, and will eagerly hunt seals, penguins, or polar bears.

2. Harp Seal

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  • Scientific name: Pagophilus Groenlandicus
  • How are they like dolphins: They’re found in some of the same regions and share similar diets.

Harp seals are found in many of the same places that dolphins are, and they have a similar diet of fish, water vegetation, and shrimp. These seals thrive in icy environments and are known for migrating over great distances.

Similarly, many types of dolphins are also known to migrate. Adults can reach about 6 feet long and 300 pounds. They are capable of holding their breath underwater for about 16 minutes at a time.

3. Walrus

Walruses at seaside
Walruses at seaside | image by Jay Ruzesky via Wikimedia Commons
  • Scientific name: Odobenus rosmarus
  • How are they like dolphins: They have similar diets and live in some of the same habitats.

Walruses are large marine mammals, with the ability to reach well over 4,000 pounds. Their long tusks are the most notable trait about them, and they will use these tusks to crack through thick ice.

These animals can be found in some of the same habitats as dolphins, and they both have diets that include shrimp and fish. Similar to dolphins, walruses can often be found in aquariums or marine sanctuaries.

4. Dugong

Dugong underwater
Dugong underwater | Photo by Kris-Mikael Krister on Unsplash
  • Scientific name: Dugong dugon
  • How are they like dolphins: They can be found in the same regions, and have a somewhat similar appearance.

Dugongs are sea cows, and they have a similar appearance to dolphins when they are younger. As adults, they can weigh more than a ton and be about 14 feet long.

They forage for marine vegetation, and can be found in some of the same regions that dolphins are. Common predators for these sea cows include killer whales and sharks.

5. Beluga Whale

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  • Scientific name: Delphinapterus leucas
  • How are they like dolphins: They have similar body shapes, and habitats, and share similar diets.

Beluga whales live in many of the same regions that dolphins do, and have similar shapes. The most obvious difference is the bulging head that these whales are known for. Dolphins and beluga whales also hunt many of the same prey.

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Beluga whales will grow to be larger than dolphins, reaching about 18 feet long as adults. They live in cold Arctic waters, but have also been spotted in shallow freshwater rivers.

6. Humpback Whale

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  • Scientific name: Megaptera Novaeangliae
  • How are they like dolphins: Found in the same regions, and they have a similar diet.

Humpback whales are one of the largest whales in the world, and they can be found in various regions around the globe. They eat krill, like many dolphins, and are not considered predators.

Adult humpback whales can be around 50 feet long. Young humpback whales have been known to fall victim to attacks from orcas.

7. Blue Whale

Blue Whales in the ocean
Blue Whales in the ocean | image by National Marine Sanctuaries via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus
  • How are they like dolphins: They both share a similar appearance, aside from the massive size difference.

Like humpback whales, blue whales are filter feeders that mainly eat krill. They can be found in the various oceans of the world, similar to dolphins, and are not predatory animals.

Blue whales are the largest animal in the world, reaching up to 110 feet long. Adults weigh over 300,000 pounds.

8. Marine Otter

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  • Scientific name: Lontra felina
  • How are they like dolphins: They are also marine mammals found in some of the same regions.

Marine otters can be found in some of the same ocean waters that dolphins are found in. They are common along the Pacific Coast in South America, and spend time in the water and on land.

When swimming, they have a similar diet to dolphins, including crabs, shrimp, and fish. Marine otters will also find prey on land, such as small mammals or birds.

9. Narwhal

Narwhals
Narwhals | image by Ansgar Walk via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 2.5
  • Scientific name: Monodon monocerus
  • How are they like dolphins: They’re similar sizes and can be found in some of the same regions of the world.

Narwhals are marine mammals that can be found in some of the same habitats as dolphins. They have a single lone tusk, one of the features they are most recognized for, and will actively hunt for fish, squid, and shrimp.

They are white whales, just like belugas, and live in the Arctic Ocean. Orcas, sharks, and polar bears are some of the top predators for narwhals.

Conclusion

These 10 animals are like dolphins for a number of reasons, including the ranges they are found in, the diets they eat, and the physical traits they display.

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