Species guide

It is not always that easy identifying marine mammals at sea, which may appear for just few seconds at the sea surface and disappear almost immediately. Greece hosts a rich diversity of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and in addition is home to the endangered Mediterranean monk seal.

Cetaceans

A cetacean is not a big fish. There are basic differences that can be quickly spotted:

  • Fish have a vertical tail that move left to right when swimming, while cetaceans move their tail (fluke) up and down
  • Conversely to fish, cetaceans must come regularly at the surface to breath, even though the interval between one surfacing and the other may vary in length depending on species. Larger cetaceans spend larger time under water

Monk seal

It’s very easy to identify a Mediterranean Monk seal, as in our waters this is the only seal species present.

Marine mammals regularly found in Greek waters