Whales: Their Biology and Behavior explores the lives of the world's largest living mammals. Drawing on the latest scientific research, Whales describes these incredible animals' evolution from terrestrial to marine mammals, their life cycle, diversity and distribution, and the ecosystems of which they are a part. Whales highlights the many extraordinary aspects of these intelligent and social creatures, including the complex vocalizations they use to communicate over vast distances.
Philip Hammond, Sonja Heinrich, Sascha Hooker, and Peter Tyack investigate the role of whales in human culture, from whaling to whale watching, and emphasize how scientists monitor the current threats to whales and the methods they use to conserve their future. Spectacular photographs of whales in the wild reveal the private lives of these fascinating and majestic ocean giants.
Published in the UK as Whales: Their Past, Present and Future by the Natural History Museum, which is now out of print.
Philip Hammond, Sonja Heinrich, Sascha Hooker and Peter Tyack are researchers at the Sea Mammal Research Unit based at the University of St Andrews.
"Overall, the breadth of information and illustrations are excellent. Although the volume has a broad focus, several characteristics of the biology and behavior of this diverse mammalian group are adequately explored. Finally, by highlighting certain aspects of conducting research on free-ranging whales, readers will come away with an appreciation of the difficulties associated with studying these highly specialized animals, despite the many advances in technology. As such, this book provides a great introduction to the world of whales for general readers as well as university students who may be considering a career in research or conservation of these magnificent creatures."
– Quarterly Review of Biology
"This book is an intellectual appetizer plate for readers. It surveys many topics on whale evolution, ecology, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and human interactions but only lightly touches each topic. By doing so, the authors provide an introduction to a broad sweep of whale biology without producing a massive, dense tome."
"This remarkable book is a rare beast – packing a blue whale-sized amount of information into a porpoise-compact volume. The authors, all researchers at the highly regarded Sea Mammal Research Unit at University of St Andrews, really know their stuff, and it shows in coverage of a wide range of aspects of whale evolution, ecology and, most fascinating of all, whale culture. In addition, Whales does not flinch from exploring our, at times, shameful relationship with these compelling animals and the seas and rivers in which they live."
– BBC Wildlife