In general, whales are large, streamlined aquatic mammals with eyes, a mouth, a blowhole and two flippers and a tail that are used for swimming. But within the general category of whales, there is a lot of diversity when it comes to shape, color and texture.

Whales can have teeth or baleen (a fringed structure on the inside of the mouth), and some whales are hunters while others simply filter small sea creatures through their baleen. Different species of whale have different appearances. For example, the orca whale is shiny and black with bright white spots and a pointed dorsal fin that almost resembles a shark, while humpback whales are a dark gray, almost blue, in color with white undersides and very small dorsal fins.