Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification

  • Brett Jarrett
  • By

    • Thomas Jefferson, Clymene Enterprises, Lakeside, CA, USA
    • Marc Webber, Golden Gate Cetacean Research, Corte Madera, CA USA
    • Robert Pitman, NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA USA

    With coverage on all the marine mammals of the world, authors Jefferson, Webber, and Pitman have created a user-friendly guide to identify marine mammals alive in nature (at sea or on the beach), dead specimens “in hand”, and also to identify marine mammals based on features of the skull. This handy guide provides marine biologists and interested lay people with detailed descriptions of diagnostic features, illustrations of external appearance, beautiful photographs, dichotomous keys, and more. Full color illustrations and vivid photographs of every living marine mammal species are incorporated, as well as comprehendible maps showing a range of information. For readers who desire further consultation, authors have included a list of literature references at the end of each species account. For an enhanced understanding of habitation, this guide also includes recognizable geographic forms described separately with colorful paintings and photographs. All of these essential tools provided make Marine Mammals of the World the most detailed and authoritative guide available!
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    Marine biologists, laypeople interested in a guide to marine mammals.


Book information

  • Published: December 2007
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-383853-7


"An excellent addition to the library of any wildlife disease professional, providing all the current information on basic species identification needed to identify, and have a basic understanding of, a marine mammal observed at sea or on the necropsy table. The guide is useful for students, biologists, managers, and veterinarians alike. It stands out from the many other smaller or older field guides to marine mammals currently available because of its breadth of information, its beautiful illustrations, and its carefully constructed dichotomous keys. I thoroughly recommend it to all marine mammal enthusiasts as a quintessential guide to species identification."

– Frances Gulland, Director, Marine Mammal Center; Review in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases

"This guide is the most comprehensive [among the competition] and, to my mind, the best. … I recommend this comprehensive and up-to-date guide to every budding as well as serious marine mammalogist."

– Bernd Wursig, Regents Professor and Chair of the Marine Biology Graduate Program,

Texas A&M University; Review in Aquatic Mammals

[T]ruly is a comprehensive guide to the identification of the world’s marine mammals. … [T]he authors compiled a unique combination of identification tools into a single volume: detailed species accounts, descriptive photographs, dichotomous keys, and trait comparison tables. … Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification is the one book that anyone seeking to identify the world’s marine mammals—dead or alive—should have on their shelf. … Most helpfully, the text … is supported by a generous number of high-quality illustrations and photographs that show the diagnostic physical and behavioral characteristics of each species from a variety of angles. … [T]he dichotomous keys and comparison tables in the back put this guide on a utilitarian plane above other guides. [It] will be a welcome addition to any library. The authors pooled their vast observational experience to provide its users a single identification guide that is both utilitarian and esthetically pleasing."

– Kate Wynne, Fisheries Technology Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks;

Review in Marine Mammal Science, published by the Society for Marine Mammalogy