A whale of a time (best for November through to April)
Pull out the sea cloths as we head out to sea in search of the largest animal to have ever lived.
The largest living species on earth – Whales are creatures of the open ocean; they feed, mate, give birth, suckle and raise their young at sea. So extreme is their adaptation to life underwater that they are unable to survive on land. Whales in the waters surrounding Sri Lanka range in size from the 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) and 135 kilograms (298 lb) dwarf sperm whale to the 34 metres (112 ft) and 190 metric tons (210 short tons) blue whale, which is the largest creature that has ever lived. The sperm whale is the largest toothed predator on earth.
Many whales, especially the blue whales, tend to migrate long distances from their cold-water feeding grounds to warm-water breeding grounds each year. They travel alone or in groups, or pods, on their annual migrations. Toothed whales often hunt in groups, migrate together and share young-rearing duties. The sandy coastal town in Sothern Sri Lanka – Mirissa; happens to be one of such breeding grounds. On the other hands Trincomalee; the golden beach on the east coast, happens to be a famous passing point for these magnificent giants.
The Blue Whale is the largest creature ever to have lived on earth. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as a car. Although the blue whale spends much of its life underwater, as a mammal, it must come to the surface of the sea to breathe. When it surfaces, it exhales air out of a blowhole in a cloud of pressurized vapour that rises vertically above the water for up to 9m.
Blue whales occasionally swim in small groups but usually alone or in pairs. They are thought to form close attachments. In spite of their bulk, these graceful swimmers cruise the ocean at over 8km/h, and can reach speeds of over 30km/h.
Sri Lanka is often named as the best location to see these ocean titans. The seasons are as follows.
Mirissa – Early November to Mid-March (Best time being Mid-February to Early-May)
Trincomale – Early March to Mid-May (Best time being End-March & Early-April)
Sperm whales are easily recognized by their massive heads and prominent rounded foreheads. They have the largest brain of any creature known to have lived on Earth. Their heads also hold large quantities of a substance called spermaceti.Sperm whales are often spotted in groups (called pods) of some 15 to 20 animals. Pods include females and their young, while males may roam solo or move from group to group. Females and calves remain in Sri Lankan waters all year long, and apparently practice communal childcare. Males migrate to higher latitudes, alone or in groups, and head back towards the equator to breed. Driven by their tale fluke, approximately 16 feet (5 meters) from tip to tip, they can cruise the oceans at around 23 miles (37 kilometers) per hour.
Just falling behind the blue whales, a sperm whale sighting can be guaranteed in your whale watching trip in Mirissa and Trincomalee.
The best time for Sperm Whale Sightings would be Early March to Mid-April in Mirissa and Trincomalee.
The warm water around Sri Lanka are home to over a dozen species of Dolphins, ranging from Pilot Whales to Spinner and Spotted Dolphins. Out of the specie of Dolphins that can be seen around the island Pygmy Killer whales, Melon Headed Whales are the shy and rarely seen species. While deep water species such as Risso’s Dolphins can been seen surfing bow waves of boats and ships. Spinner Dolphins and Frasers Dolphins are usually seen in massive pods, showing off their acrobatic skills leaping out of the water. The most commonly seen Dolphins around boats are the Spotted Dolphins and the two species of Bottle Nose Dolphins.
Killer Whales although commonly considered as a whale, is actually the largest member of the Dolphin family. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as dolphins. They have been known to attack baleen whale calves, and even adult whales. Killer whales are apex predators, as there is no animal which preys on them.
Being commonly spotted in the Arctic and Sub Arctic regions, Sri Lanka is one of the rare locations in the world where the beautiful White Whales can be sighted.inquire now