Marine Mammals of the World

Marine Mammals of the World

A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification

2nd Edition - July 28, 2015

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  • Authors: Marc A. Webber, Thomas Allen Jefferson, Robert Pitman
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780124095427
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124095922

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This new edition of Marine Mammals of the World describes and illustrates newly discovered and rarely photographed species, making it the most comprehensive and up-to-date identification guide available. This edition continues to meet the research-focused needs of marine biologists and conservation biologists by providing a tremendous influx of new photos, taking advantage of advances in digital and auto-focusing photography, and the emergence of marine mammal studies and "whalewatching" around the world. The book encompasses cetacean, pinniped, and sirenian species, as well as extinct species, and describes basic biology and taxonomic groupings of marine mammals.

Key Features

  • Contains superb photographs of every species of marine mammal for accurate identification
  • Authors possess nearly 80 years of collective experience with almost all of the species and distinctive geographic forms described in the guide
  • Provides the most detailed and anatomically accurate illustrations currently available, including more than 750 new illustrations
  • Special emphasis is placed on the identification of species in "problem groups," such as the beaked whales, long-beaked oceanic dolphins, and southern fur seals
  • Includes a detailed list of sources for more information
  • Contains updated taxonomy including four new species


Marine biologists and ecologists, comparative biologists and physiologists, conservation biologists, and upper UG/grad/postdoc students in these areas.

Table of Contents

    • Preface and Acknowledgments
    • 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 Identification Keys
      • Request For Feedback from Users
    • 2: Basic Marine Mammal Biology
      • What is a Marine Mammal?
      • Types of Marine Mammals
      • Basic Marine Mammal Biology
    • 3: Taxonomic Groupings Above the Species Level
      • Cetacea—Whales, dolphins, and porpoises
      • Order Sirenia—Manatees and Dugongs
      • Order Carnivora—Carnivorous mammals (including pinnipeds, marine otters, and polar bear)
      • Pinnipedia—Seals, sea lions, and walruses
    • 4: Cetaceans
      • North Atlantic Right Whale—Eubalaena glacialis (Müller, 1776)
      • North Pacific Right Whale—Eubalaena japonica (Lacépéde, 1818)
      • Southern Right Whale—Eubalaena australis (Desmoulins, 1822)
      • Bowhead Whale—Balaena mysticetus Linnaeus, 1758
      • Pygmy Right Whale—Caperea marginata (Gray, 1846)
      • Blue Whale—Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Fin Whale—Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Sei Whale—Balaenoptera borealis Lesson, 1828
      • Bryde’s Whale—Balaenoptera edeni Anderson, 1879
      • Omura’s Whale—Balaenoptera omurai Wada, Oishi, and Yamada, 2003
      • Common Minke Whale—Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacépède, 1804
      • Antarctic Minke Whale—Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867
      • Humpbaok Whale–Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781)
      • Gray Whale— Eschrichtius robustus (Lilljeborg, 1861)
      • Sperm Whale—Physeter macrocephalus Linnaeus, 1758
      • Pygmy Sperm Whale—Kogia breviceps (Blainville, 1838)
      • Dwarf Sperm Whale—Kogia sima (Owen, 1866)
      • Baird’s Beaked Whale—Berardius bairdii Stejegar, 1883
      • Arnoux’s Beaked Whale—Berardius arnuxii Duvernoy, 1851
      • Cuvier’s Beaked Whale—Ziphius cavirostris G. Cuvier, 1823
      • Northern Bottlenose Whale—Hyperoodon ampullatus (Forster, 1770)
      • Southern Bottlenose Whale—Hyperoodon planifrons Flower, 1882
      • Shepherd’s Beaked Whale—Tasmacetus shepherdi Oliver, 1937
      • Blainville’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon densirostris (Blainville, 1817)
      • Gray’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon grayi von Haast, 1876
      • Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon ginkgodens Nishiwaki and Kamiya,1958
      • Deraniyagala’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon hotaula Deraniyagala, 1963
      • Hector’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon hectori (Gray, 1871)
      • Perrin’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon perrini Dalebout, Mead, Baker, and van Helden, 2002
      • Hubbs’ Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon carlhubbsi Moore, 1963
      • Pygmy Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon peruvianus Reyes, Mead, and Van Waerebeek, 1991
      • Sowerby’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby, 1804)
      • Gervais’ Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon europaeus (Gervais, 1855)
      • True’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon mirus True, 1913
      • Strap-toothed Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon layardii (Gray, 1865)
      • Andrews’ Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon bowdoini Andrews, 1908
      • Stejneger’s Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon stejnegeri True, 1885
      • Spade-toothed Beaked Whale—Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874)
      • Longman’s Beaked Whale—lndopacetus pacificus (Longman, 1926)
      • Narwhal — Monodon monoceros Linnaeus, 1758
      • Beluga Whale — Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776)
      • Australian Snubfin Dolphin — Orcaella heinsohni Beasley, Robertson, and Arnold, 2005
      • Irrawaddy Dolphin — Orcaella brevirostris (Owen in Gray, 1866)
      • Killer Whale — Orcinus orca (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Short-finned Pilot Whale—Globicephala macrorhynchus Gray, 1846
      • Long-finned Pilot Whale — Globicephala melas (Traill, 1809)
      • False Killer Whale—Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846)
      • Pygmy Killer Whale—Feresa attenuata Gray, 1874
      • Melon-headed Whale—Peponocephala electra (Gray, 1846)
      • Risso’s Dolphin—Grampus griseus (G. Cuvier, 1812)
      • Tucuxi—Sotalia fluviatilis (Gervais and Deville in Gervais, 1853)
      • Guiana Dolphin—Sotalia guianensis (Van Bénéden, 1864)
      • Rough-toothed Dolphin—Steno bredanensis (G. Cuvier in Lesson, 1828)
      • Atlantic Humpback Dolphin—Sousa teuszii (Kükenthal, 1892)
      • Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin— Sousa chinensis (Osbeck, 1765)
      • Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphin— Sousa plumbea (G. Cuvier, 1829)
      • Australian Humpback Dolphin— Sousa sahulensis Jefferson and Rosenbaum, 2014
      • Common Bottlenose Dolphin—Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821)
      • Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin—Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1833)
      • Pantropical Spotted Dolphin—Stenella attenuata (Gray, 1846)
      • Atlantic Spotted Dolphin—Stenella frontalis (G. Cuvier, 1829)
      • Spinner Dolphin — Stenella longirostris (Gray, 1828)
      • Clymene Dolphin—Stenella clymene (Gray, 1850)
      • Striped Dolphin— Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen, 1833)
      • Short-beaked Common Dolphin—Delphinus delphis Linnaeus, 1758
      • Long-beaked Common Dolphin—Delphinus capensis Gray, 1828
      • Fraser’s DoIphin—Lagenodelphis hosei Fraser, 1956
      • White-beaked Dolphin— Lagenorhynchus albirostris (Gray, 1846)
      • Atlantic White-sided Dolphin—Lagenorhynchus acutus (Gray, 1828)
      • Pacific White-sided DoIphin— Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Gill, 1865
      • Dusky Dolphin— Lagenorhynchus obscurus (Gray, 1828)
      • Hourglass Dolphin—Lagenorhynchus cruciger (Quoy and Gaimard, 1824)
      • Peale’s Dolphin—Lagenorhynchus australis (Peale, 1848)
      • Northern Right Whale Dolphin—Lissodelphis borealis (Peale, 1848)
      • Southern Right Whale Dolphin—Lissodelphis peronii (Lacépède, 1804)
      • Commerson’s Dolphin—Cephalorhynchus commersonii (Lacépède, 1804)
      • Heaviside’s Dolphin—Cephalorhynchus heavisidii (Gray, 1828)
      • Hector’s Dolphin—Cephalorhynchus hectori (Van Beneden, 1881)
      • Chilean Dolphin—Cephalorhynchus eutropia (Gray, 1846)
      • Dall’s Porpoise—Phocoenoides dalli (True, 1885)
      • Harbor Porpoise—Phocoena phocoena (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Spectacled Porpoise—Phocoena dioptrica Lahille, 1912
      • Burmeister’s Porpoise—Phocoena spinipinnis Burmeister, 1865
      • Vaquita—Phocoena sinus Norris and McFarland, 1958
      • Indo-Pacific Finless Porpoise—Neophocaena phocaenoides (G. Cuvier, 1829)
      • Narrow-ridged Finless Porpoise—Neophocaena asiaeorientalis (Pilleri and Gihr, 1972)
      • South Asian River Dolphin— Platanista gangetica (Lebeck, 1801)
      • Amazon River Dolphin—Inia geoffrensis (Blainville, 1817)
      • Franciscana— Pontoporia blainvillei (Gervais and d’Orbigny, 1844)
    • 6: Pinnipeds
      • Northern Fur Seal—Callorhinus ursinus (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Antarctic Fur Seal—Arctocephalus gazella (Peters, 1875)
      • Juan Fernandez and Guadalupe Fur Seals—Arctocephalus philippii (Peters, 1866)
      • Galapagos Fur Seal—Arctocephalus galapagoensis Heller, 1904
      • South American Fur Seal—Arctocephalus australis (Zimmerman, 1783)
      • New Zealand Fur Seal-Arctocephalus forsteri (Lesson, 1828)
      • Subantarctic Fur Seal—Arctocephalus tropicalis (Gray, 1872)
      • Cape and Australian Fur Seals—Arctocephalus pusillus (Schreber, 1775)
      • Steller Sea Lion—Eumetopias jubatus (Schreber, 1776)
      • California Sea Lion—Zalophus californianus (Lesson, 1828)
      • Galapagos Sea Lion—Zalophus wollebaeki Sivertsen, 1953
      • South Amreican Sea Lion—Otaria flacescens (Shaw, 1800)
      • Australian Sea Lion—Neophoca cinerea (Peron, 1816)
      • New Zealand Sea Lion—Phocarctos hookeri (Gray, 1844)
      • Walrus—Odobenus rosmarus (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Hawaiian Monk SeaI—Neomonachus schauinslandi Matschie. 1905
      • Mediterranean Monk Seal—Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779)
      • Ross Seal—Ommatophoca rossii Gray, 1844
      • Crabeater Seal—Lobodon carcinophaga (Hombron and Jacquinot, 1842)
      • Leopard Seal—Hydrurga leptonyx (Blainville, 1820)
      • Weddell Seal—Leptonychotes weddellii (Lesson, 1826)
      • Southern Elephant Seal—Mirounga leonina (Linnaeus, 1758)
      • Northern Elephant Seal—Mirounga angustirostris (Gill, 1866)
      • Bearded Seal—Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben, 1777)
      • Hooded Seal—Cystophora cristata (Erxleben, 1777)
      • Gray Seal—Halichoerus grypus (Fabricius, 1791)
      • Ribbon Seal—Histriophoca fasciata (Zimmerman, 1783)
      • Harp Seal—Pagophilus groenlandicus (Erxleben, 1777)
      • Harbor Seal—Phoca vitulina Linnaeus, 1758
      • Spotted SeaI—Phoca largha (Pallas, 1811)
      • Ringed SeaI—Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)
      • Baikal Seal—Pusa sibirica (Gmelin, 1788)
      • Caspian Seal—Pusa caspica (Gmelin, 1788)
    • 6: Sirenians
      • West Indian Manatee — Trichechus manatus Linnaeus, 1758
      • African Manatee—Trichechus senegalensis Link, 1795
      • Amazonian Manatee—Trichechus inunguis (Natterer, 1883)
      • Dugong—Dugong dugon (Müller, 1776)
    • 7: Otters & Polar Bear
      • Sea Otter—Enhydra lutris (Linneaus, 1758)
      • Marine Otter—Lontra felina (Molina, 1782)
      • Polar Bear—Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774
    • 8: Extinct Species
      • Baiji—Lipotes vexillifer Miller, 1918
      • Japanese Sea Lion—Zalophus japonicus (Peters, 1866)
      • Caribbean Monk Seal?—?Neomonachus tropicalis (Gray, 1850)
      • Steller’s Sea Cow—Hydrodamalis gigas (Zimmerman, 1780)
    • 9: Identification Keys
      • General Notes on the Use of the Keys
      • A Key to Identification of Cetaceans of the World, Based on External Appearance
      • B Key to Identification of Cetaceans of the World, Based on Skull Morphology
      • C Key to Identification of Baleen Whales of the World, Based on Baleen Plates
      • D Key to Identification of Pinnipeds of the World, Based on External Appearance
      • E Key to Identification of Pinnipeds of the World, Based on Skull Morphology
      • F Key to Identification of Sirenians of the World, Based on External Appearance and Distribution
      • G Key to Identification of Sirenians of the World, Based on Skull Morphology
    • 10: Sources for More Information
    • Index—Common Names
    • Index—Scientific Names
    • Photo Credit Suplementary Information

Product details

  • No. of pages: 616
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2015
  • Published: July 28, 2015
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780124095427
  • eBook ISBN: 9780124095922

About the Authors

Marc A. Webber

Marc Webber is a marine mammal specialist with an undergraduate and graduate degree from San Francisco State University. He has worked as a biologist and refuge manager for non-profit organizations and the US government for his entire career in places all over the country. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Webber has worked with stranded marine mammals, conducted marine mammal and seabird studies by ship and aircraft for NMFS and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in the North and South Pacific, North Atlantic, and Arctic, studied Monk Seals in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Northern Fur Seals at San Miguel and the Pribilof Islands, Walrus in the Bering and Chukchi Seas, Harp Seals in Russia, and Dusky Dolphins in New Zealand. He has done extensive work with stranded marine mammals, co-authored many journal articles and book chapters, and conducted marine mammal and seabird ship and aircraft surveys over most oceans of the world.

Affiliations and Expertise

Golden Gate Cetacean Research, Corte Madera, CA USA

Thomas Allen Jefferson

Dr. Thomas Jefferson’s main interests are the development of marine mammal identification aids, and the systematics and population ecology of the more poorly known species of dolphins and porpoises. His work since receiving his PhD in 1983 has been related to conservation and management of marine mammals threatened by human activities. His current primary research focuses on the conservation biology of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides) populations in Hong Kong and surrounding waters. I am also working on other projects looking at the systematics and ecology of these species throughout their ranges. In addition, I am involved in many other projects, including those on the conservation of the critically endangered vaquita (Phocoena sinus) and on the taxonomy and population ecology of common dolphins (Delphinus spp.)

Affiliations and Expertise

Clymene Enterprises,CA, USA

Robert Pitman

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.

Affiliations and Expertise

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA USA

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  • JohnWang Thu Jan 03 2019

    Marine Mammals of the World ed2

    Excellent guidebook; a few inconsistencies in information and a few errors that will hopefully be corrected in the next edition