Much has been written about dolphins and whales, and excellent books exist especially on the charismatic bottlenose dolphins; and killer, humpback, and sperm whales. But detailed studies have been carried out on a handful of other species, and The Dusky Dolphin summarizes our state of knowledge of a little dolphin – the southern hemisphere dusky, and compares its behavioral strategies in different environs.
The editors, Bernd and Mel Wursig, began studying duskies in Patagonia, Argentina, in 1972. Although they have been to many parts of the Earth since then – including work on Amazon and Yangtze river dolphins, Hawai'i for the delicate lovely spinner dolphin, the Arctic for bowhead and gray whale work, and bottlenose dolphins in several milieus – they have always returned to their fist love of unraveling the social patterns and life strategies of duskies that exist in small groups in semi-enclosed bays and as herds of well over 1,000 in the open ocean.
The Dusky Dolphin documents the latest research, from their feeding patterns to their acrobatic skills. It is full of scientific facts, with a sense of poetry and wonder of the unknown.
About the Editors
1. The Dusky Dolphins’ Place in the Delphinid Family Tree
2. Dusky Dolphin Life History and Demography
3. Dusky Dolphin Trophic Ecology: Their Role in the Food Web
4. Acoustics of Dusky Dolphins
5. Dusky Dolphins Foraging at Night
6. Dusky Dolphins Foraging in Daylight
7. Predator Threats and Dusky Dolphin Survival Strategies
8. Mating Habits of New Zealand Dusky Dolphins
9. Dusky Dolphin Calf Rearing
10. Sexual Segregation and Genetic Relatedness in New Zealand
11. Human Interactions with Dusky Dolphins: Harvest, Fisheries, Habitat Alteration, and Tourism
12. Human Interactions with Dusky Dolphins: A Management Perspective
13. Dolphin Swimming and Watching: One Tourism Operator’s Perspective
14. Neglected But Not Forgotten—Southern Africa’s Dusky Dolphins
15. Patterns of Sympatry in Lagenorhynchus and Cephalorhynchus: Dolphins in Different Habitats
16. A Large-brained Social Animal
17. Social Creatures in a Changing Sea: Concluding Remarks
" [...] this beautifully illustrated book, with many color photos (e.g., p. 247) and close to a thousand combined references at the end for easy look-up, is the very best to date describing our current state of knowledge on the dusky dolphin – and in doing so shedding light on the life of any other delphinid, too, for that matter. The Dusky Dolphin, simply put, is one of those classics which should not be missing from the shelves of anyone in the marine mammal field."
– Michiel Schotten, Department of Marine Biology, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
"Chapters are well written and the mostly high-quality color figures are useful and relevant. This volume illustrates that the incremental progress made in any individual study can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of a species. This 'big picture' is lacking for many species, but is sorely needed as management issues continue to become more complicated and pressing as we move further into the 21st century."
– Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2012, page 273