In the Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, award-winning author and whale researcher Erich Hoyt takes readers into the field for an intimate encounter with some 90 species of cetaceans that make their homes in the world's oceans. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience and a comprehensive familiarity with the current revolution in cetacean studies, Hoyt provides unique insights into the life histories of these compelling marine mammals.
Here are discoveries about cetacean biology and behaviour, from the physical differences and adaptations among the baleen and toothed whales to their highly intelligent hunting and feeding methods. The courtship and mating practices, family relationships and the lifelong bonds among some family members are fascinating. The symphonic composer of the whale world is the humpback whale, whose complex 30-minute songs reverberate across the liquid universe of the ocean. Some cetaceans survive deep diving and negotiate lengthy migrations across oceans.
This book is a fascinating compilation of the latest data on cetaceans and an impassioned argument for the ongoing need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat.
Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises includes:
- detailed profiles of 90 current species of cetaceans
- a report on the newly discovered species in the genus Berardius, a small black form related to the Baird's beaked whale
- fascinating sidebars that bring to life cetacean society and culture
- an enlightening discussion of the differences between dolphins and porpoises
- new information on the history and impact of whaling
- illustrations of each species by renowned artist Uko Gorter
- color photographs by world-famous marine photographer Brandon Cole, among others.
Erich Hoyt is the author of 22 books for adults and children, including Creatures of the Deep and Orca: The Whale Called Killer. His scientific work on killer whales, Baird's beaked whales and humpback whales is based in the Russian Far East. His work as Research Fellow for Whale and Dolphin Conservation has contributed to the designation of large marine protected areas in the ocean. In 2013, Hoyt received the Mandy McMath Conservation Award from the European Cetacean Society for his body of work on marine conservation. He currently lives and works in Bridport, Dorset.
"Gorgeous photographs accompany details of the basic biology of these marine mammals [...] A rich and detailed learning resource."
– Raine Sillito, Green Teacher Magazine
"The photographs are remarkable in their clarity, offering striking depictions of whales, dolphins, and porpoises in their natural habitats. Particularly arresting are the underwater photographs; these provide a perspective that few humans will ever see. These photographs seem powerful enough to imbue readers with an affinity for these animals that good drawings and interesting anecdotes cannot [...] Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and general readers."
– S. R. Fegley, Choice Magazine
"Despite its name, the Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises is no dry, encyclopedic tome. Instead, Erich Hoyt's 300-page labor of love for all things cetacean focuses on stories of more than 90 species of wild whales, dolphins, and porpoises, with over 300 photographs and illustrations. Hoyt draws on his decades of experience studying and writing about cetaceans, and has created an excellent up-to-date resource with the latest insights into our understanding of cetaceans."
– Hakai Magazine
"Marine researcher and conservationist Hoyt (Weird Sea Creatures, 2013) introduces readers to the field of cetaceans with this eye-catching and appealing work. Beginning with an overview of the intertwined history of whales and humans, the book's following sections provide context on methods of research at sea and an introduction to the basic biology (anatomy, migration, social behavior, and more) of cetaceans. Thought-provoking questions peppered throughout the text on topics such as invasive research tools and recent whale strandings will help to keep the reader engaged. There are complete chapters devoted to baleen whales, toothed whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The appendix comprises approximately a quarter of the book's content, with profiles of 90 recognized species of cetaceans, including information on their length, weight, habitat and range, diet, social notes, and conservation status. The attractive layout features dazzling photos on almost every page spread. The book concludes with a list of ways individuals can get involved as citizen scientists, in addition to a list of sources and resources and an index. An accessible volume for school and public libraries."
– Maren Ostergard, Booklist
"An interesting and beautiful global overview of cetaceans. Part pictorial guide, part research over-view, part coffee table book, and part call to action, and brimming with incredibly beautiful photographs showing cetaceans in action, this book will appeal to many readers in its attractive, easy-to-read format [...] This book is very ambitious in its scope and meets many of its objectives. Comprehensive, colourful, and full of interesting facts, it does an excellent job of showing the diversity of cetaceans around the world and raising awareness of conservation challenges and concerns for their future [...] An excellent addition to your natural history and conservation library."
– Ted Armstrong, Canadian Field-Naturalist
"Required reading [...] In the beautifully illustrated Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, award-winning author and whale researcher Erich Hoyt takes readers into the field for an intimate encounter with the roughly 90 species of cetaceans that live in the world's oceans. Drawing on a comprehensive familiarity with the current revolution in cetacean studies, Hoyt provides unique insights into the life histories of these compelling marine mammals. His impassioned argument for the ongoing need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat is impossible to ignore."
– Canadian Geographic Newsletter