The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal whose length at 30 meters (98 ft) and weight at 180 tons makes it the largest and heaviest animal ever known to have lived on earth in addition to being the longest survived animal on earth. Its long slender body is bluish grey dorsally and lighter underneath. They usually travel alone or in pairs and occasionally seen in small groups. Their main source of food is krill, a tiny shrimp like creature which they filter from the water using their fringed plates attached on the upper jaw.
The Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of the tooth whales and the largest toothed predator. The sperm Whale can be recognized by its huge head and unusually rounded forehead and is the creature possessing the largest brain of any living thing known to have lived on earth. The mature male averages 16 meters (52 ft) in length, weighs over 50 metric tons and feeding primarily on squid with a life span of more than 60 years. Sri Lanka has been identified as one of the best places to see Sperm Whales especially super-pods (sometimes with of over 40 individuals) outside the pacific.
Sri Lanka is situated within the International Whaling Commission’s protected zone in the Indian Ocean and is recognized as the finest place in the world to observe Blue Whales and Sperm Whales. The Whale watching destinations in Sri Lanka are Mirissa in the South Coast, Trincomalee in the East Coast and Kalpitiya in the West Coast. Sri Lanka also boasts of the longest Whale watching season in the world, having three seasons; Mirissa (Dec to April), Trincomalee (March to August) and Kalpitiya (November/December & March/April) in addition to being ideally located, with Mirissa, just off Dondra point situated in the southern coast being the closest point to the continental shelf and on the migratory route of Whales.
It is also possible to see Bryde’s Whales, Fin Whales and sometimes even Killer Whales in Sri Lanka.