Marine Mammals book cover

Marine Mammals

Evolutionary Biology

Berta and Sumich have succeeded yet again in creating superior marine reading! This book is a succinct yet comprehensive text devoted to the systematics, evolution, morphology, ecology, physiology, and behavior of marine mammals. The first edition, considered the leading text in the field, is required reading for all marine biologists concerned with marine mammals. Revisions include updates of citations, expansion of nearly every chapter and full color photographs. This title continues the tradition by fully expanding and updating nearly all chapters.

Vertebrate zoologists, mammalogists, marine biologists, and those interested in the natural history, evolution, systematics, and behavior of marine mammals. Researchers, faculty, graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in mammals, marine biology, and many related disciplines

Hardbound, 560 Pages

Published: December 2005

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-088552-7


  • "...successfully highlights the current state of knowledge on the diverse assemblage of mammals that utilise the marine environment. These authors have combined their expertise to produce a comprehensive excellent textbook for advanced courses in marine mammalogy. Indeed, all scientists and students who study marine mammals should read it...the book’s major strength lies in the sections on the anatomy and physiology of marine mammals. The early chapters on evolution and systematics of the three primary groups of marine mammals (pinnipeds, cetaceans and sirenians) are highly detailed with respect to anatomical features...This book is an important resource and it should not be merely viewed as a classroom textbook. It contains a wealth of information. In addition to the biological aspects of marine mammals, the book also provides the history of exploitation and political attempts to manage and regulate hunting. Even though this review is presented in an unbiased manner, the conclusions are that current practices of overfishing may lead in the end to the demise of a number of species. Berta, Sumich and Kovacs present a hopeful plea that we can make future political decisions based on a sense of stewardship of the oceans and its inhabitants." - Frank E. Fish, Department of Biology, West Chester University in ANIMAL BIOLOGY "...Berta et al have provided us with a crucial resource spanning many disparate research venues...Each chapter provides extensive references for further research. In the appendix are listed the living species (as discussed in the book) with information such as diagnosis, definition, distribution, fossil history and content. A glossary, a substantial index and several pages of color photos completes the rest of the book...certainly, this book is appropriate for any academic library supporting marine science, marine ecology, environmental science, evolutionary biology and similar programs." - Peggy Dominy in E-STREAMS "This update to the original version of this basic book originally published in 1999 is highly welcome...the authors succeed again in presenting a book that is simultaneously challenging and easily readable for students. The strength of the book is its integrative presentation of adaptiveness to the marine environment (e.g. in terms of anatomy, physiology, behaviour and ecology, all in an explicit phylogenetic context) as opposed to isolated tales of evolutionary adaptations. As such, the reader can always follow functional aspects of convergent evolution in the various non-related marine-mammal groups. Consequentially, the book starts with a (classical) introduction to phylogenetic systematics in general followed by specific chapters on pinniped, cetacean and sirenian evolution and systematics. Different and even highly contradicting views of the relationships of each group are clearly presented, and the authors do an excellent job (especially for students) of not trying to conceal these disagreements, but instead in leaving the discussion open. Part I finishes with an especially nice chapter on 'evolutionary biogeography'. The bulk of the book deals with solutions in all the various systems to cope with the (for mammals) new marine environment. The changes in each of these systems, especially when viewed together, represent a powerful, outstanding and underused piece of evidence of evolution. Following the descriptions of loss, restructuring and 'inventing' of structures in almost all systems is a pleasure in itself, but even more so because of many instructive illustrations by Pieter Arend Folkens and Peter J. Adam. We should thank the authors for the great effort they have made to gather all the diverse information available and to present it in a highly comprehensive book, and one that can only be recommended to all readers interested in this challenging field." - M. S. Fischer, Jena, in JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGICAL SYSTEMATICS AND EVOLUTIONARY RESEARCH " with the evolution of marine mammals in detail, and the remainder of the book is a good, solid guide to their complex biology. That said, Marine mammals: evolutionary biology will certainly be popular with students, because it is clearly and concisely written, and intelligently illustrated." - in CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS "...the book does represent a good reference source that I will certainly use myself, and it will serve those who teach these themes extremely well. Berta et al. deserve to be congratulated for this comprehensive tome - it is a thorough, precise and clearly written reference that will serve admirably those interested in the evolution of marine mammals." - Corey J.A. Bradshaw, School for Environmental Research, Charles Darwin University, in POLAR RESEARCH


  • PART I: EVOLUTIONARY HISTORY Systematics and Classification Pinniped Evolution and Systematics Cetacean Evolution and Systematics Sirenians and Other Marine Mammals:Evolution and Systematics Evolutionary Biogeography PART II: EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND BEHAVIOR Integumentary and Sensory Systems Musculoskeletal System and Locomotion Energetics Respiration and Diving Physiology Sound Production for Communication, Echolocation, and Prey CaptureDiet, Foraging Structures, and StrategiesReproductive Structures, Strategies, and Patterns Population Structure and Population Dynamics Conservation and Protection References Appendix: Classification of Marine Mammals Glossary Index


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