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A convenient, portable companion for whale watchers, serious oceanographers, and marine mammal lovers, this guide represents the most recent research on dolphins and whales. After being hunted nearly to the point of extinction, the cetaceans have now become a symbol of the need for marine conservation. Today, dolphins and whales are featured in numerous books and television documentaries, which has allowed people to connect with them. Bringing together the most recent research on cetaceans, this volume provides a scientific grounding to our feelings for these distant relatives of ours. Filled with splendid photographs and drawings, the book describes in realistic details the fascinating biology and behaviour of dolphins and whales. Cetaceans returned to the sea about 60 million years ago, and today, represented by 81 species, they have colonized nearly all the world's oceans and some big rivers in South America and Asia. Dolphins and whales have been the subject of many legends, and so this book begins with the history of how humans have viewed these creatures, and then it explains their evolution. At the end an illustrated guide to the various species is provided.