Spying on Whales
Author: Nick Pyenson
A dive into the secret lives of whales, from their evolutionary past to today's cutting edge of science Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive? Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. He takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert in Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.
Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. We have hunted them for thousands of years and scratched their icons into our mythologies. They simultaneously fill us with waves of terror, awe and affection – yet we know hardly anything about them.
Author: Bryant Austin
DIVPhotographer and conservationist Bryant Austin’s breathtaking photographic project Beautiful Whale is the first of its kind: It chronicles his fearless attempts to reach out to whales as fellow sentient beings. Featuring Austin’s intimate images—some as detailed as a single haunting eye—that result from encounters based on mutual trust, Beautiful Whale captures the grace and intelligence of these magnificent creatures. Austin spent days at a time submerged, motionless, in the waters of remote spawning grounds waiting for humpback, sperm, and minke whales to seek him out. As oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle says in her foreword to the book, “As an ambassador from the ocean—and to the ocean—Bryant Austin is not only a source of inspiration. He is cause for hope.†? Praise for Beautiful Whale: “You can’t help thinking, with every passing page, that this is what’s it’s like to swim with the whales.†? —The Wall Street Journal /div
Marine biologist Micheline Jenner discovered humpback breeding grounds off the Kimberley coast, uncovered pygmy blue whale feeding spots, and, with her husband Curt, is one of very few people to witness a humpback whale giving birth. In The Secret Life of Whales she reveals the little-known world of these giants of the deep, taking us from Australia to Antarctica and beyond. With her infectious enthusiasm for these magnificent creatures. Mich shares her insights into how whales live - how they migrate, feed, breed and look after their young - and her world-leading conservation work.
Author: Philip Hoare
Publisher: Harper Collins
“Unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir.” —Mark Kurlansky The Whale by Philip Hoare is a enthralling and eye-opening literary leviathan swimming in similar bestselling waters as Cod and The Secret Life of Lobsters. Winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, The Whale is a lively travelogue through the history, literature, and lore of the king of the sea—the remarkable mammals that we human beings have long been fascinated with, from Moby Dick to Free Willy. Bestselling author and naturalist Bernd Heinrich calls it, “a moving and extraordinary book,” and Hoare’s sparkling account of swimming with these incredible behemoths will delight whale and wildlife aficionados, lovers of the sea and sea stories, as well as the socially and environmentally conscious reader.
Author: Jason Michael Colby, Jason M. Colby
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Since the release of the documentary Blackfish in 2013, millions around the world have focused on the plight of the orca, the most profitable and controversial display animal in history. Yet, until now, no historical account has explained how we came to care about killer whales in the first place. Drawing on interviews, official records, private archives, and his own family history, Jason M. Colby tells the exhilarating and often heartbreaking story of how people came to love the ocean's greatest predator. Historically reviled as dangerous pests, killer whales were dying by the hundreds, even thousands, by the 1950s--the victims of whalers, fishermen, and even the US military. In the Pacific Northwest, fishermen shot them, scientists harpooned them, and the Canadian government mounted a machine gun to eliminate them. But that all changed in 1965, when Seattle entrepreneur Ted Griffin became the first person to swim and perform with a captive killer whale. The show proved wildly popular, and he began capturing and selling others, including Sea World's first Shamu. Over the following decade, live display transformed views of Orcinus orca. The public embraced killer whales as charismatic and friendly, while scientists enjoyed their first access to live orcas. In the Pacific Northwest, these captive encounters reshaped regional values and helped drive environmental activism, including Greenpeace's anti-whaling campaigns. Yet even as Northwesterners taught the world to love whales, they came to oppose their captivity and to fight for the freedom of a marine predator that had become a regional icon. This is the definitive history of how the feared and despised "killer" became the beloved "orca"--and what that has meant for our relationship with the ocean and its creatures.
Author: Hank Searls
Publisher: Open Road Media
A New York Times–bestselling author’s intricately conceived, “remarkably eloquent” response to Moby-Dick: a story of harmony between man and whale (The Washington Post). This unique adventure tale follows two characters: one a sonar officer aboard a sinking Russian nuclear submarine; the other a massive, aging sperm whale swimming nearby. As the young man spends what may be his last days with the ship’s lovely surgeon, he listens to the plaintive calls of the whales sounding—calls of compassion, fear, and anger at humankind’s attacks on his species. Little does he realize these fellow creatures may also provide his only hope of survival. Giving voice to these magnificent mammals, Hank Searls—who in addition to his work as a writer has also been a yachtsman, underwater photographer, and Navy flyer—taps into our ancient connection to the natural world in a fascinating, suspenseful, and provocative drama.
The eighty-nine cetacean species that swim our seas and rivers are as diverse as they are intelligent and elusive, from the hundred-foot-long, two-hundred-ton blue whale to the lesser-known tucuxi, ginkgo-toothed beaked whale, and diminutive, critically endangered vaquita. The huge distances these highly migratory creatures cover and the depths they dive mean we catch only the merest glimpses of their lives as they break the surface of the water. But thanks to the marriage of science and technology, we are now beginning to understand their anatomy, complex social structures, extraordinary communication abilities, and behavioral patterns. In this beautifully illustrated guide, renowned marine mammalogist Annalisa Berta draws on the contributions of a pod of fellow whale biologists to present the most comprehensive, authoritative overview ever published of these remarkable aquatic mammals. Opening with an accessible rundown of cetacean biology—including the most recent science on feeding, mating, and communication—Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises then presents species-specific natural history on a range of topics, from anatomy and diet to distribution and conservation status. Each entry also includes original drawings of the species and its key identifiers, such as fin shape and color, tooth shape, and characteristic markings as they would appear both above and below water—a feature unique to this book. Figures of myth and—as the debate over hunting rages on—figures of conflict since long before the days of Moby-Dick, whales, dolphins, and porpoises are also ecologically important and, in many cases, threatened. Written for general enthusiasts, emergent cetacean fans, and biologists alike, this stunning, urgently needed book will serve as the definitive guide for years to come.
War of the Whales
Author: Joshua Horwitz
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Documents the efforts of crusading lawyer Joel Renolds and marine biologist Ken Balcolm to expose a covert U.S. Navy sub detection system that caused whales to beach themselves, an effort that challenged Ken's loyalties and pitted them against powerful military adversaries.
Author: Joe Roman
Publisher: Reaktion Books
One hundred years ago, a beached whale would have been greeted by a mob wielding flensing knives; today, people bring harnesses and boats to help it return to the sea. The whale is one of the most awe-inspiring and intelligent animals in nature, sharing a complex relationship with humans that has radically evolved over the centuries. Joe Roman offers in Whale a fascinating and in-depth look at the cultural and natural history of these majestic aquatic mammals. From the Biblical prophet Jonah to Moby-Dick to recent discoveries of cetacean songs and culture, Roman examines the whale's role in history, art, literature, commerce, and science. Whale features vibrant illustrations, ranging from Stone Age carvings to full-color underwater photographs, which vividly bring to life the rich symbolic meanings surrounding the whale. Roman also examines the ecological and evolutionary history of the whale as well as contemporary issues of conservation. Whale is an engaging volume that will appeal to all those interested in the important role that these kings of the ocean have played in human culture.
Author: Janet Mann
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Humans aside, dolphins, whales, and porpoises are often considered to be the smartest creatures on Earth. Science and nature buffs are drawn to stories of their use of tools, their self-recognition, their beautiful and complex songs, and their intricate societies. But how do we know what we know, and what does it mean? In Deep Thinkers, renowned cetacean biologist Janet Mann gathers a gam of the world’s leading whale and dolphin researchers—including Luke Rendell, Hal Whitehead, and many more—to illuminate these vital questions, exploring the astounding capacities of cetacean brains. Diving into our current understanding of and dynamic research on dolphin and whale cognition, communication, and culture, Deep Thinkers reveals how incredibly sophisticated these mammals are—and how much we can learn about other animal minds by studying cetacean behavior. Through a combination of fascinating text and more than 150 beautiful and informative illustrations, chapters compare the intelligence markers of cetaceans with those of birds, bats, and primates, asking how we might properly define intelligence in nonhumans. As all-encompassing and profound as the seas in which these deep cetacean cultures have evolved, Deep Thinkers is an awesome and inspiring journey into the fathoms—a reminder of what we gain through their close study, and of what we lose when the great minds of the sea disappear.
Krill-it's a familiar word that conjures oceans, whales, and swimming crustaceans. Scientists say they are one of most abundant animals on the planet. But when pressed, few people can accurately describe krill or explain their ecological importance. Antarctic krill have used their extraordinary adaptive skills to survive and thrive for millions of years in a dark, icy world far from human interference. But with climate change melting ice caps at the top and bottom of the world, and increased human activity and pollution, their evolutionary flexibility to withstand these new pressures may not be enough. Eminent krill scientist Stephen Nicol wants us to know more about this enigmatic creature of the sea. He argues that it's critical to understand krill's complex biology in order to protect them as the krill fishing industry expands. This account of Antarctic krill-one of the largest of eighty-five krill species-takes us to the Southern Ocean to learn firsthand the difficulties and rewards of studying krill in its habitat. Nicol lays to rest the notion that krill are simply microscopic, shrimplikewhale food but are in fact midway up the food chain, consumers of phytoplankton and themselves consumed by whales, seals, and penguins. From his early education about the sex lives of krill in the Bay of Fundyto a krill tattoo gone awry, Nicol uses humor and personal stories to bring the biology and beauty of krill alive. In the final chapters, he examines the possibility of an increasingly ice-free Southern Ocean and what that means for the fate of krill-and us. Ocean enthusiasts will come away with a newfound appreciation for the complex ecology of a species we have much to learn from, and many reasons to protect.
The Sounding of the Whale
Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Explores how humans' view of whales changed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, looking at how the sea mammals were once viewed as monsters but evolved into something much gentler and more beautiful.
Covers all aspects of sperm whales, including migrations, ecology, evolution, and breeding.
In the Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, award-winning author and whale researcher Erich Hoyt takes readers into the field for an intimate encounter with some 90 species of cetaceans that make their homes in the world's oceans. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience and a comprehensive familiarity with the current revolution in cetacean studies, Hoyt provides unique insights into the life histories of these compelling marine mammals. Here are discoveries about cetacean biology and behavior, from the physical differences and adaptations among the baleen and toothed whales to their highly intelligent hunting and feeding methods. The courtship and mating practices, family relationships and the lifelong bonds among some family members are fascinating. The symphonic composer of the whale world is the humpback whale, whose complex 30-minute songs reverberate across the liquid universe of the ocean. Some cetaceans survive deep diving and negotiate lengthy migrations across oceans. This book is a fascinating compilation of the latest data on cetaceans and an impassioned argument for the ongoing need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat. Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises includes: detailed profiles of 90 current species of cetaceans a report on the newly discovered species in the genus Berardius, a small black form related to the Baird's beaked whale fascinating sidebars that bring to life cetacean society and culture an enlightening discussion of the differences between dolphins and porpoises new information on the history and impact of whaling illustrations of each species by renowned artist Uko Gorter color photographs by world-famous marine photographer Brandon Cole, among others.