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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!
- Contains superb photographs of every species of marine mammal for accurate identification
- Authors’ collective experience adds up to 80 years, and have seen nearly all of the species and distinctive geographic forms described in the guide
- Provides the most detailed and anatomically accurate illustrations currently available
- Special emphasis is placed on the identification of species in “problem groups,” such as the beaked whales, long-beaked oceanic dolphin, and southern fur seals
- Includes a detailed list of sources for more information at the back of the book.
Marine biologists, laypeople interested in a guide to marine mammals.
Preface and Acknowledgments
Chapter 1: Introduction
The Need for This Guide
Marine Mammal Identification and How to Use This Guide
Notes on the Format of the Species Accounts
Notes on the Dichotomous Keys
Request For Feedback from Users
Chapter 2: Basic Marine Mammal Biology
What is a Marine Mammal?
Types of Marine Mammals
Zoogeography, Distribution, and Migration
Anatomy and Physiology
Life History and Reproduction
Behavior and Social Organization
Exploitation and Conservation
Chapter 3: Taxonomic Groupings Above the Species Level
Order Cetacea— Whales, dolphins, and porpoises
Suborder Mysticeti—Baleen whales
Family Balaenidae—Right and bowhead whales
Family Neobalaenidae—Pygmy right whale
Family Eschrichtiidae—Gray whale
Suborder Odontoceti—Toothed whales
Family Physeteridae—Sperm whale
Family Kogiidae—Pygmy and dwarf sperm whales
Family Monodontidae—Narwhal and beluga whale
Family Ziphiidae—Beaked whales
Family Delphinidae—Marine dolphins
Family Platanistidae—South Asian river dolphin
Order Sirenia—Manatees and dugongs
Order Carnivora—Carnivorous mammals (including pinnipeds, marine otters, and polar bears)
Suborder Pinnipedia—Seals, sea lions, and walruses
Family Otariidae—Eared seals
Family Phocidae—True seals
Chapter 4: Cetaceans
Chapter 5: Pinnipeds
Recognizable geographic forms
Chapter 6: Sirenian and Other Species
Recognizable geographic forms
Chapter 7: Extinct Species
Chapter 8: Dichotomous Identification Keys
Chapter 9: Summaries of Characters for Similar Species
Glossary of Technical Terms
- No. of pages:
- © Academic Press 2008
- 7th December 2007
- Academic Press
- Hardcover ISBN:
- eBook ISBN:
Thomas A. Jefferson, Ph.D. is a marine mammal biologist and director of Clymene Enterprises, in
Lakeside, California. He has been studying marine mammals around the world since 1983, and has traveled
widely in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australasia in pursuit of his work. His primary focus is on the population
biology and taxonomy of small cetaceans, and their effective conservation.
Clymene Enterprises, Lakeside, CA, USA
Marc A. Webber has studied marine mammals in the wild and captivity since 1977. He has traveled to the
Arctic, Antarctic, and many areas in between to study, photograph, and teach about marine mammals. He
has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1992 and at present is the Deputy Manager at Alaska
Maritime National Wildlife Refuge which is based in Homer, Alaska.
Golden Gate Cetacean Research, Corte Madera, CA USA
Robert L. Pitman is a marine biologist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California,
and has published extensively on marine birds and mammals. Since 1976 he has averaged 6 months a year
at sea on research vessels operating in all the world’s oceans. His current research interests include ecology
and systematics of killer whales in Antarctica and Australia.
NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA USA
"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
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