The Greek seas are rich in large marine mammals, a fact unknown to most Greeks ,although reported since ancient times. Indeed, the Minoan frescoes depicting dolphins in Queen's Megaron at Knossos, indicate that Minoans knew many things about these creatures and respected them.
Marine mammals differ from fish as they do not have gills for breathing, but lungs. Apart from the famous endangered Mediterranean monk seal, which lives in almost all the coasts of the country, Greece hosts whales, sperm whales, dolphins and porpoises. These are either permanent residents of the Mediterranean, or just occasional visitors. Especially the area south of Crete, known as the Greek Abyss, hosts many of them.
Cuvier's Beaked Whale (scient. Ziphius cavirostris) is a large whale, which is found in almost all seas of the world. They have been observed many times in several places of Greece, with Crete being one of them.
The common minke whale (scient. Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is a small whale species, worldwide distributed, which is found quite often in the seas of the western Mediterranean Sea and less in Greek and Cretan Seas.