256 pages, 6 b/w illus
The largest creatures to inhabit the Earth, whales have long inspired awe in human beings. Because they spend almost 95 percent of their time beneath the ocean surface, however, little has been known about their lives--until recently. With advances in technology and more intense study, fresh facts are coming to light about these magnificent mammals, and to be a whale watcher now, says acclaimed author and wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick, is to have a front-row seat to stunning discoveries.
Chadwick has followed and reported on whales for more than a decade, and in The Grandest of Lives he offers a fascinating insider's view of modern-day scientific whale observation--from data gathering to spirited scientific debate to expedition storytelling. In detailed portraits of five whale species that represent a cross-section of the forms and lifestyles of cetaceans worldwide--the humpback, northern bottlenose, blue whale, minke whale, and orca--Chadwick moves deftly from natural history to more personal observations, clearly communicating his fondness and admiration for these mammoth masters of the sea, as well as the sheer joy of being among them.
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Douglas H. Chadwick is a wildlife biologist and the author of hundreds of articles and more than a half-dozen books on natural history, including The Fate of the Elephant and True Grizz. He lives in Whitefish, Montana.