322 pages, 8 plates with colour photos (hardback) / b/w photos (paperback)
Dr. Denise Herzing began her research with a pod of spotted dolphins in the 1980s. Now, almost three decades later, she has forged strong ties with many of these individuals, has witnessed and recorded them feeding, playing, fighting, mating, giving birth and communicating. Dolphin Diaries is an account of Herzing's research and her surprising findings on wild dolphin behavior, interaction, and communication.
Readers will be drawn into the highs and lows the births and deaths, the discovery of unique and personalized behaviors, the threats dolphins face from environmental changes, and the many funny and wonderful encounters Denise painstakingly documented over many years. This is the perfect book for anyone who loves these incredibly versatile and intelligent creatures and wants to find out more than the dolphin show at the zoo can offer. Herzing is a true pioneer in her field and deserves a place in the pantheon of naturalists and scientists next to Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall.
"Tales of diving with wild dolphins, recalcitrant equipment, living on boats, and hurricanes really bring both the excitement and the drudgery of field research to life."
"Herzing's focused, captivating account concludes with moving animal-rights arguments centered around the injustices foisted upon defenseless cetaceans and the many other species senselessly killed or held in cruel captivity.Solid, fascinating spadework."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Denise Herzing's new book about her unique experiences studying dolphin tribes over two decades in the Bahamas demonstrates the importance of keeping dolphins wild and free. We can learn a lot from dolphins on their own terms in the ocean. This is the beauty of Dolphin Diaries."
– Ric O'Barry, featured in the Academy-Award-winning documentary The Cove, director of the Dolphin Project at Earth Island Institute, and author of Behind the Dolphin Smile
"Only somebody who has studied dolphins as closely and for as long as Dr. Herzing can bring us dispatches from an alien world that can touch us as deeply as the dolphin tales she tells in this remarkable book. Reading Dolphin Diaries made me realize how much effort, how much thought, how much respect has to go into any true attempt to get close to another animal. Dr. Herzing has done it. She has put in the time and the intelligence, and therefore her views about dolphins should have enormous impact. Her message, in the end, is one that applies to so many other animals with whom we share this fragile planet, but is so rarely heard that it behooves us to listen to it again and again: 'Every dolphin is someone's mother, brother, or friend. I wish them to be always in their world, on their terms, where they belong, in the wild.'"
– Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D, author of When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats
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Dr. Denise L. Herzing is the founder and director of The Wild Dolphin Project, a fellow with the Explorer's Club, a founding member of the Marine Mammal Society, and a professor in biological sciences at Florida Atlantic University. She is the recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim fellowship in Science Writing, and was nominated for a Wings World Quest award. She lives in Palm Beach County, Florida.