The Bowhead Whale - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128189696

The Bowhead Whale

1st Edition

Balaena Mysticetus: Biology and Human Interactions

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Editors: J.C. George J.G.M. Thewissen
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128189696
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st September 2020
Page Count: 516
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The Bowhead Whale, Balaena Mysticetus: Biology and Human Interactions covers bowhead biology from their anatomy and behavior, to conservation, distribution, ecology and evolution. The book also discusses the biological and physical aspects of the Arctic ecosystem in which these whales live, with careful attention paid to the dramatic changes taking place. A special section of the book describes the interactions of humans with bowheads in past and present, focusing on their importance to Indigenous communities and the challenges regarding entanglement in fishing gear, industrial noise and ship strikes.

This volume brings together the knowledge of bowheads in one place for easy reference for scientists that study the species, marine mammal biologists, but, equally important, for everyone who is interested in the Arctic.

Key Features

  • Presents the only current book dedicated to this species
  • Includes short, high-impact chapters that make it possible to review all bowhead biology in one compact volume
  • Illustrated with never-before published photos of bowheads in their natural environment
  • Provides a platform for an in-depth understanding of indigenous whaling


Researchers and academics in marine and conservation biology, specifically those targeting marine mammal research and species management

Table of Contents

Section I: Basic Biology
1. Higher Phylogeny of Baleen Whales
2. Fossil History of the Balaenidae
3. The Stocks of Bowheads
4. Bowhead Whale Abundance
5. Growth and Form
6. Embryology and Gestation
7. Skull Anatomy
8. Skeletal Anatomy
9. Anatomy and Physiology of the Muscular System
10. Anatomy and Physiology of the Gastro-Intestinal System
11. Anatomy and Physiology of the Reproductive System
12. Anatomy and Function of Feeding
13. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems
14. Brain and Peripheral Nervous System
15. Sensory Systems
16. Endocrinology, Thermoregulation, and Blubber Physiology
17. Proteomics and Gene Expression
18. Age Determination
19. Sound Production and Reception
20. Behavior
21. Life History
22. Arctic Ocean Physiological Adaptations

Section II: The Bowhead Ecosystem
23. Physical Oceanography of the Bowhead Habitat
24. Global Change Affecting the Bowhead Ecosystem
25. Bowhead Prey
26. Feeding Ecology
27. Bowhead Predators
28. Parasites and Commensals
29. Diseases
30. Ice Entrapment and Other Mortality

Section III: Interactions with Humans
31. European and Yankee Whaling of Bowheads
32. History of Inupiat and Chukchi Whaling of Bowheads
33. Current Native Whaling of Bowheads
34. Bowheads and Bowhead Whaling in Inupiat Culture
35. Inupiat Traditional Knowledge and Science
36. Noise Affecting Bowheads
37. Entanglement and Ship Strikes
38. Contaminants
39. Future of Management and Conservation


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2021
1st September 2020
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Editor

J.C. George

John Craighead ‘Craig’ George Ph.D. is a wildlife biologist who has lived in the Arctic and studied bowhead whales for 40 years. He has published more than 50 scientific papers on the species, on topics ranging from their physiology and reproduction, to their migratory pathways, and their behavior. He is a leading specialist on issues relating to conservation and management of bowhead populations and has served as a member of the US delegation of the International Whaling Commission. He is keenly involved in issues related to subsistence hunting of whales by Indigenous peoples, and the traditional knowledge that these cultures have of whale biology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Wildlife Management, North Slope Borough, Utqiagvik, Alaska, USA

J.G.M. Thewissen

J. G. M. ‘Hans’ Thewissen studies the evolution, anatomy and embryology of marine mammals, and has travelled the world to study fossil and living whales. His work with the sense organs of modern whales explores the impact of global change on marine mammal populations. He co-edited the three editions of Elsevier’s Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals and wrote a popular book on whale evolution: The Walking Whales.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, USA

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