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Marine Mammals - 3rd Edition - ISBN: 9780123970022, 9780123972576

Marine Mammals

3rd Edition

Evolutionary Biology

Authors: Annalisa Berta James Sumich Kit Kovacs
eBook ISBN: 9780123972576
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123970022
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 23rd April 2015
Page Count: 738
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Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology, Third Edition is a succinct, yet comprehensive text devoted to the systematics, evolution, morphology, ecology, physiology, and behavior of marine mammals.

Earlier editions of this valuable work are considered required reading for all marine biologists concerned with marine mammals, and this text continues that tradition of excellence with updated citations and an expansion of nearly every chapter that includes full color photographs and distribution maps.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of the biology of all marine mammals
  • Provides a phylogenetic framework that integrates phylogeny with behavior and ecology
  • Features chapter summaries, further readings, an appendix, glossary and an extensive bibliography
  • Exciting new color photographs and additional distribution maps


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

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

  • 1.1. Marine Mammals—“What Are They?”
  • 1.2. Adaptations for Aquatic Life
  • 1.3. Scope and Use of this Book
  • 1.4. Time Scale
  • 1.5. Early Observations of Marine Mammals
  • 1.6. Emergence of Marine Mammal Science
  • 1.7. Further Reading and Resources

Part 1. Evolutionary History

Chapter 2. Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Classification

  • 2.1. Introduction: Investigating Evolutionary Histories
  • 2.2. Some Basic Terminology and Concepts
  • 2.3. How Do You Build a Phylogenetic Tree?
  • 2.4. Testing Phylogenetic Hypotheses
  • 2.5. Applying Phylogenies: Elucidating Evolutionary and Ecological Patterns
  • 2.6. Taxonomy and Classification
  • 2.7. Summary and Conclusions
  • 2.8. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 3. Pinniped Evolution and Systematics

  • 3.1. Introduction
  • 3.2. Origin and Evolution
  • 3.3. Summary and Conclusions
  • 3.4. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 4. Cetacean Evolution and Systematics

  • 4.1. Introduction
  • 4.2. Origin and Evolution
  • 4.3. Summary and Conclusions
  • 4.4. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 5. Sirenians and Other Marine Mammals: Evolution and Systematics

  • 5.1. Introduction
  • 5.2. Origin and Evolution of Sirenians
  • 5.3. The Extinct Sirenian Relatives—Desmostylia
  • 5.4. The Extinct Marine Bear-Like Carnivoran, Kolponomos
  • 5.5. The Extinct Aquatic Sloth, Thalassocnus natans
  • 5.6. Marine Otters
  • 5.7. The Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus
  • 5.8. Summary and Conclusions
  • 5.9. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 6. Evolution and Geography

  • 6.1. Introduction
  • 6.2. Species Identity
  • 6.3. Speciation
  • 6.4. Ecological Factors Affecting Distributions of Marine Mammals
  • 6.5. Present Patterns of Distribution
  • 6.6. Reconstructing Biogeographic Patterns
  • 6.7. Past Patterns of Distribution
  • 6.8. Summary and Conclusions
  • 6.9. Further Reading and Resources

Part 2. Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, and Behavior

Chapter 7. Integumentary and Sensory Systems

  • 7.1. Introduction
  • 7.2. Integumentary System
  • 7.3. Nerves and Sense Organs
  • 7.4. Summary and Conclusions
  • 7.5. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 8. Musculoskeletal System and Locomotion

  • 8.1. Introduction
  • 8.2. Pinnipeds
  • 8.3. Cetaceans
  • 8.4. Sirenians
  • 8.5. Sea Otter
  • 8.6. Polar Bear
  • 8.7. Summary and Conclusions
  • 8.8. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 9. Energetics

  • 9.1. Introduction
  • 9.2. Metabolic Rates
  • 9.3. Thermoregulation
  • 9.4. Energetics of Locomotion
  • 9.5. Osmoregulation
  • 9.6. Summary and Conclusions
  • 9.7. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 10. Respiration and Diving Physiology

  • 10.1. Introduction
  • 10.2. Challenges of Deep and Prolonged Dives for Breath-Holders
  • 10.3. Pulmonary and Circulatory Adaptations to Diving
  • 10.4. Diving Response
  • 10.5. Diving Behavior and Phylogenetic Patterns
  • 10.6. Summary and Conclusions
  • 10.7. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 11. Sound Production for Communication, Echolocation, and Prey Capture

  • 11.1. Introduction
  • 11.2. Sound Propagation in Air and Water
  • 11.3. Anatomy and Physiology of Sound Production and Reception
  • 11.4. Functions of Intentionally Produced Sounds
  • 11.5. Acoustic Thermometry of Ocean Climate and Low-Frequency Military Sonars
  • 11.6. Summary and Conclusions
  • 11.7. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 12. Diet, Foraging Structures, and Strategies

  • 12.1. Introduction
  • 12.2. Seasonal and Geographical Patterns of Prey Abundance
  • 12.3. Adaptations for Foraging in Pinnipeds
  • 12.4. Feeding Specializations of Cetaceans
  • 12.5. Feeding Specializations of Sirenians
  • 12.6. Feeding Specializations of Other Marine Mammals
  • 12.7. Summary and Conclusions
  • 12.8. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 13. Reproductive Structures, Strategies, and Patterns

  • 13.1. Introduction
  • 13.2. Anatomy and Physiology of the Reproductive System
  • 13.3. Mating Systems
  • 13.4. Lactation Strategies
  • 13.5. Reproductive Patterns
  • 13.6. Summary and Conclusions
  • 13.7. Further Reading and Resources

Chapter 14. Population Structure and Dynamics

  • 14.1. Introduction
  • 14.2. Abundance and Its Determination in Marine Mammals
  • 14.3. Techniques for Monitoring Populations
  • 14.4. Population Structure and Dynamics
  • 14.5. Summary and Conclusions
  • 14.6. Further Reading and Resources

Part 3. Exploitation, Conservation, and Management

Chapter 15. Exploitation and Conservation

  • 15.1. Introduction
  • 15.2. Exploitation of Marine Mammals
  • 15.3. Marine Mammal Conservation and Protection
  • 15.4. Progress and the Future
  • 15.5. Summary and Conclusions
  • 15.6. Further Reading and Resources


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© Academic Press 2015
23rd April 2015
Academic Press
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About the Authors

Annalisa Berta

Annalisa Berta is Professor of Biology in the Department of Biology at San Diego State University, San Diego, California and a Research Associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum in San Diego, California and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. She is an evolutionary biologist who for the last 30 years has been studying the anatomy, evolution and systematics of fossil and living marine mammals, especially pinnipeds and whales. She is a past President of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and former Senior Editor of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and Associate Editor of Marine Mammal Science. She has written 100 scientific papers and several books for the specialist as well as non-scientist including Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals, 2012, (University of California Press) and the forthcoming book (summer, 2015) Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: a natural history and species guide (University of Chicago Press).

Affiliations and Expertise

San Diego State University, California, U.S.A.

James Sumich

James Sumich is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Grossmont College and is the author of a popular book on gray whales. He has conducted research on gray whales from British Columbia to Baja California for four decades and has taught marine mammal course for nearly that long. His research has focused on the ecological physiology of baleen whales, especially the energetics of their seasonal fasting migrations.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA

Kit Kovacs

Kit M. Kovacs is the Biodiversity Research Program Leader for the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø Norway and a Professor of Biology at University Studies on Svalbard (UNIS). She has worked with marine mammals in Polar Regions for the past 30 years, focusing primarily on studies in the fields of behavioral ecology and population biology. The impact of climate change on ice-associated species has been a topic of principal concern in recent years in her research projects. She is author/co-author of more than 200 primary publications and the author/editor of ten books and numerous popular articles.

Affiliations and Expertise

Biodiversity Research Section Leader, Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway, Professor of Biology, The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), Svalbard, Norway


"...has been fully updated and improves significantly upon the excellent foundations in the 2nd edition. ...I highly recommend this book for students and researchers alike. ...any time I find myself wandering into unknown territory, my first instinct is to grab this volume off my shelf." --Journal of Mammalian Evolution

"...outclasses several other competing works, which tend to showcase marine mammals as special cases instead of focusing on the comparative and historical methods that demonstrate how they evolved…a necessary book for both beginners and experts. Students will find it readable, authoritative, and appealing with its extensive imagery." --The Quarterly Review of Biology

"I highly recommend this book for veterinary students or veterinarians at the start of their careers in marine mammal medicine or research who are looking for a supplemental reference on marine mammal biology." --Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

 "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, 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." --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, POLAR RESEARCH

Ratings and Reviews