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Other Sea Creatures You Might See While Whale Watching

Whale watching is an exciting experience for all who take the journey. Not only do you get to see the ocean’s miraculous giants firsthand, but there is always the possibility of witnessing other sea creatures as well! Below are a few common sea animals that might make an appearance on your next whale watching trip.

Bottlenose Dolphin


One of the most popular sea creatures you may come across is the bottlenose dolphin. Bottlenose dolphins are marine mammals that live in tropical and temperate oceans. Their beaks are short and thick with their body being a grey color. One of their most appealing characteristics are their curved mouths, making them appear as if they are always smiling! Bottlenose dolphins are extremely social creatures and always travel in pods. They love to breach and make a splash landing, sometimes jumping about 5 meters out of the water, always putting on a show for those around them!

Common Dolphin


Two species of dolphins fall under the name “common dolphin.” The first being the short-beaked common dolphin and the second the long-beaked common dolphin. The common dolphins are medium sized, being smaller than the well known bottlenose dolphin. The long-beaked common dolphins have an elongated forehead that meet their beaks at a slender angle while the short-beaked common dolphin have rounder foreheads that meet their beaks at a more direct angle. Common dolphins are extremely intelligent and playful creatures, sometimes even riding alongside boats! They travel in large pods and are very exciting to come across.

Sea Lions


One of the other types of sea animals you might see on your San Diego whale watching trip are the beloved sea lions. Sea lions are characterized by their ability to walk on all fours, having big chests and bellies, long foreflippers, and external ear flaps. These playful creatures are one of the more social mammals and can almost always be spotted in close packs. They love to entertain by jumping out of the water or by floating on the top of the ocean’s surface.



On luckier days, you may be able to spot some sharks on your whale watching excursion! One of the more common sharks to see is the Hammerhead shark. Being that they have flat, laterally extended heads forming the “hammer” shape, this shark species is definitely one of the most unique. Unlike other shark species, the hammerhead swims in schools during the daytime and do all of their hunting at night.

Sea Turtles


This is a rare sighting, but sea turtles sometimes make an appearance on excursions. Specifically, green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles. The green sea turtles get their names from the green layer of fat that is found located under their shells. Unlike other sea turtles who have two, the green sea turtle only has one set of prefontal scales. The loggerhead turtles are distinguished by their abnormally large heads and strong, heavy jaws.

animal on the water