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The Great Sperm Whale: A Natural History of the Ocean's Most Magnificent and Mysterious Creature

By: Richard Ellis

432 pages, 25 col & 97 b/w photos

University Press of Kansas

Hardback | May 2011 | #190971 | ISBN-13: 9780700617722
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £36.50 $45/€41 approx

About this book

This study covers the full spectrum of the sperm whale's prehistoric past to its current endangered existence. Richard Ellis illuminates the iconic impact of Physeter macrocephalus ("big-headed blower") on our history, environment, and culture, with a substantial nod to Herman Melville and Moby-Dick, the great novel that put the sperm whale (and whaling) on the literary map.

Ranging far and wide, the book covers the sperm whale's evolution, ecology, biology, anatomy, behavior, social organization, intelligence, communications, migrations, diet, and breeding. It also devotes considerable space to the whale's hunting prowess, including its clashes with the giant squid, and to the history of the whaling industry that decimated its numbers during the last two centuries.

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