This key is a guide to the most commonly found stranded whales in Cornish waters. By far the most common whale to strand is the pilot whale, followed by the minke whale. Other whale strandings are very rare events.
Images are only roughly to scale. Also be aware that juvenile and newborn animals will be smaller!
Long-finned Pilot whale (Globicephala melas)
|Adult length: 3.8-6m||Adult weight: 1.8-3.5 tonnes||Teeth: U16-24/L16-24|
Sperm whale (Physeter catodon)
|Adult length: 11-18m||Adult weight: 20-50 tonnes||Teeth: U0/L36-50|
Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
|Adult length: 7-10m||Adult weight: 5-15 tonnes||Baleen: 230-360 each side|
Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
|Adult length: 18-22m||Adult weight: 30-80 tonnes||Baleen: 260-480 each side|
Cuvier's whale (Ziphius cavirostris)
|Adult length: 5.5-7m||Adult weight: 2-3 tonnes||Teeth: U0/L2|
Sowerby's beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens)
|Adult length: 4-5m||Adult weight: 1-1.3 tonnes||Teeth: U0/L2|