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This comprehensive book provides new insights into the physiological and behavioural adaptations of marine mammals for an aquatic life. It presents a detailed discussion of the anatomical, metabolic, thermoregulatory, locomotory, diving and behavioural adaptations of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walrus), sirenians (manatees and dugongs) and sea otters. The results are based on research using new technology, especially advances made during the past 25 years. Readers will gain an understanding of the remarkable adaptations that enable marine mammals to spend months at sea and make deep, long dives in pursuit of prey.
2. Return to the Sea: The Evolution of Marine Mammals
3. Respiration and the Effects of Pressure
4. Metabolism and Thermoregulation
6. Physiological and Metabolic Adaptations for Breath-hold Diving
7. Sensory Systems
8. Feeding and Digestion
Randall William Davis is an educator and researcher who studies the physiology and behavioral ecology of marine mammals and other aquatic vertebrates. His physiological research focuses on adaptations of marine mammals for deep, prolonged diving. Davis has continually emphasized the importance of studying aquatic animals in their natural environment and has spent many years developing animal-borne instruments that record video and monitor three-dimensional movements, swimming performance and environmental variables to better understand their behavior and ecology. His academic endeavors and 94 research expeditions have taken him to 64 countries and territories on seven continents and all of the world's oceans.