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Bottlenose dolphins - Tursiops truncatus.


This is the largest species of dolphin reaching lengths of 4m (13ft). They are uniformly grey in colour and have short but prominent beaks. They tend to be seen in small groups of 5-20 animals and swim very close inshore near to headlands and bays and so are often seen from the land.

Risso's dolphins - Grampus griseus


This is another large species of dolphin at 3.8m (12ft). Risso’s dolphins are easily identified by the distinctive white scarring along their bodies which accumulates as they get older. They have blunt heads and large dorsal fins.

Killer Whale - Orcinus orca


The Killer Whale, or Orca, is actually the largest of the Dolphin family rather than a whale. Very distinctive with its dramatic black and white markings; are only occasionally seen around Gairloch. The killer whale reaches lengths of 9m (30ft) and have a single blowhole and tall dorsal fins. The males have taller fins at about 1.9m (6ft) compared to females and juveniles.

Basking Sharks - Cetorhinus maximus.


The basking shark is the second largest fish in the world. Adults can reach lengths of 12m (40ft), In local waters, juveniles at an average length of 6 m (20ft) are more usually seen. Despite its size, the basking shark is a harmless plankton feeder and we often see them swimming at the surface with their mouths open as they sieve the plankton from the water.

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