This book concentrates on the marine mammalian group of Odontocetes the toothed whales and dolphins. In 23 chapters, a total of 40 authors describe general patterns of ethological concepts of odontocetes in their natural environments, with a strong bent towards behavioral ecology. Examples are given of particularly well-studied species and species groups for which enough data exist, especially from the past 15 years. The aim is to give a modern flavor of present knowledge of ethology and behavior of generally large-brained behaviorally flexible mammals that have evolved quite separately from social mammals on land. As well, the plight of populations and species due to humans is described in multiple chapters, with the hope that an understanding of behavior can help to solve or alleviate at least some human-made problems.
Dr Bernd Würsig has degrees from Ohio State University (BS, 1971) and Stony Brook University (PhD, 1978); spent 3 years as an NIH/NSF postdoctoral fellow at University of California at Santa Cruz (1978-1981), and 9 years going through the professor ranks at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (1981-1989). He came to Texas A&M University as professor of marine biology in summer 1989. He is now Regents and University Distinguished Professor (Emeritus since Nov. 2016). He has taught courses in Marine Bird and Mammal Biology, Marine Vertebrates, Bio-Statistics, Behavioral Ecology of Cetaceans, and Study Abroad courses in Mexico, Greece, and New Zealand. Würsig has published 185 peer-reviewed papers, chapters, and seven books; and been a senior advisor to 70 graduate students and 14 movies on nature interpretation. He was nominated for an Academy Award for an IMAX movie on dolphins. He, his students, and postdocs have studied marine mammal and sea bird foraging, sexual, and social ecology on all continents, with present work on social strategies of dusky dolphins in New Zealand and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins in Hong Kong. Recent books are the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals (Senior Editor, 2018), and The Dusky Dolphin: Master Acrobats off Different Shores (with Melany Würsig, 2010), both Academic/Elsevier. He and Melany enjoy their gardens in New Zealand, the Arizona desert, and coastal south Texas, three marvellously-different biomes.