The Bowhead Whale

The Bowhead Whale

Balaena Mysticetus: Biology and Human Interactions

1st Edition - September 11, 2020

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  • Editors: J.C. George, J.G.M. Thewissen
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128189702
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128189696

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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-Level Phylogeny of Baleen Whales
    2. Fossil Record
    3. The Stocks of Bowheads
    4. Distribution and behavior of Bering-Beaufort-Chukchi bowhead whales as inferred by telemetry
    5. Distribution, migrations and ecology of the populations in the Atlantic and the Okhotsk Sea
    6. Abundance
    7. Life History, Growth, and Form
    8. Prenatal Development
    9. Anatomy of skull and mandible
    10. Postcranial skeleton and musculature
    11. Hematology, Serum- , and Urine Composition
    12. Anatomy and Physiology of the Gastrointestinal System
    13. Female and Male Reproduction
    14. Anatomy and Function of Feeding
    15. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Systems
    16. Thermoregulation and Energetics
    17. Brain
    18. Sensory Systems
    19. Endocrinology and Blubber Physiology
    20. Molecular Insights into the Derived Anatomy and Physiology of Bowhead Whales
    21. Age Estimation
    22. Acoustic behavior
    23. Bowhead whale behavior: Natural and potentially disturbed
    24. Ecological Variation in the Western Beaufort Sea

    Section II: The Bowhead Ecosystem
    25. The Physical Oceanographic Setting of Bowhead Whale Habitat
    26. Biological Environment of Bowhead Whale Habitats
    27. Bowhead whale ecology in changing high-latitude ecosystems
    28. Diet and Prey
    29. Predators Impacts of Predation
    30. Diseases and Parasites

    Section III: Interactions with Humans
    31. Whaling in Indigenous Cultures of the Arctic
    32. Current Indigenous Whaling
    33. Commercial Whaling in Historical Times
    34. The Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Research and Management of the Bowhead Whale
    35. Effects of noise
    36. Fishing gear Entanglement and Vessel Collisions 
    37. Contaminants
    38. Conservation and Management 
    39. Past, Present, and Future

Product details

  • No. of pages: 668
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: September 11, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128189702
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780128189696

About the Editors

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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