A dive into the secret lives of whales, from their evolutionary past to today's cutting edge of science Whales are among the largest, most intelligent, deepest diving species to have ever lived on our planet. They evolved from land-roaming, dog-sized creatures into animals that move like fish, breathe like us, can grow to 300,000 pounds, live 200 years and travel entire ocean basins. Whales fill us with terror, awe, and affection--yet there is still so much we don't know about them. Why did it take whales over 50 million years to evolve to such big sizes, and how do they eat enough to stay that big? How did their ancestors return from land to the sea--and what can their lives tell us about evolution as a whole? Importantly, in the sweepstakes of human-driven habitat and climate change, will whales survive? Nick Pyenson's research has given us the answers to some of our biggest questions about whales. He takes us deep inside the Smithsonian's unparalleled fossil collections, to frigid Antarctic waters, and to the arid desert in Chile, where scientists race against time to document the largest fossil whale site ever found. Full of rich storytelling and scientific discovery, Spying on Whales spans the ancient past to an uncertain future--all to better understand the most enigmatic creatures on Earth.
DIVPhotographer and conservationist Bryant Austin’s breathtaking photographic project Beautiful Whale is the first of its kind: It chronicles his fearless attempts to reach out to whales as fellow sentient beings. Featuring Austin’s intimate images—some as detailed as a single haunting eye—that result from encounters based on mutual trust, Beautiful Whale captures the grace and intelligence of these magnificent creatures. Austin spent days at a time submerged, motionless, in the waters of remote spawning grounds waiting for humpback, sperm, and minke whales to seek him out. As oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle says in her foreword to the book, “As an ambassador from the ocean—and to the ocean—Bryant Austin is not only a source of inspiration. He is cause for hope.†? Praise for Beautiful Whale: “You can’t help thinking, with every passing page, that this is what’s it’s like to swim with the whales.†? —The Wall Street Journal /div
Author: Steve Jones
Publisher: Anchor Canada
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Evolution (Biology)
In Darwin's Ghost, Steve Jones has taken on the exciting challenge of rewriting the book of the millennium: Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. Before The Origin, biology was a set of unconnected facts, but Darwin made it into a science, linked by the theory of evolution (the grammar of the living world). Darwin used the biology of the nineteenth century to prove his theory. Now, using the astonishing advances of the twentieth century, Steve Jones reargues the case. His "new version" of The Origin is a bold and fascinating tour of evolution's wonders, revealing ties between cancer and the genetics of fish, between brewing beer and inheriting disease, between the sex lives of crocodiles and the politics of Brazil.
Author: Steve Jones
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Release Date: 2012-06-28
Steve Jones’s highly acclaimed, double prize-winning, bestselling first book is now fully revised to cover all the new genetic breakthroughs from GM food to Dolly the sheep. ’An essential sightseer’s guide to our own genetic terrain.’ Peter Tallack, Sunday Telegraph
Author: Steve Jones
Publisher: Little Brown GBR
Release Date: 2009-01-29
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The Origin of Species is the most famous book in science but its stature tends to obscure the genius of Charles Darwin's other works. The Beagle voyage, too, occupied only five of the fifty years of his career. He spent only five weeks on the Galapagos and on his return never left Britain again. Darwin wrote six million words, in nineteen books and innumerable letters, on topics as different as dogs, barnacles, insect-eating plants, orchids, earthworms, apes and human emotion. Together, they laid the foundations of modern biology.In this beautifully written, witty and illuminating book, Steve Jones explores the domestic Darwin, the sage of Kent, and brings his work up to date. Great Britain was Charles Darwin's other island, its countryside as much, or more, a place of discovery than had been the Galapagos. It traces the great naturalist's second journey across its modest landscape: a voyage not of the body but of the mind.
Most of us never think about how we get from one place to another. For most people, putting one foot in front of the other requires no thought at all. Yet the fact that we and other species are able to do so is one of the great triumphs of evolution. To truly understand how life evolved on Earth, it is crucial to understand movement.ÊRestless CreaturesÊmakes the bold new argument that the true story of evolution is the story of locomotion, from the first stirrings of bacteria to the amazing feats of Olympic athletes. By retracing the four-billion-year history of locomotion, evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson shows how the physical challenges of moving from place to placeÑwhen coupled with the implacable logic of natural selectionÑoffer a uniquely powerful means of illuminating the living world. Whales and dolphins look like fish because they have been molded by the constraints of underwater locomotion. The unbending physical needs of flight have brought bats, birds, and pterodactyls to strikingly similar anatomies. Movement explains why we have opposable thumbs, why moving can make us feel good, how fish fins became limbs, and even whyÑclassic fiction notwithstandingÑthere are no flying monkeys nor animals with wheels. Even plants arenÕt immune from locomotionÕs long reach: their seeds, pollen, and very form are all determined by their aptitude to disperse. From sprinting cheetah to spinning maple fruit, soaring albatross to burrowing worm, crawling amoeba to running humanÑall are the way they are because of how they move. There is a famous saying: Ònothing in biology makes sense unless in the light of evolution.Ó As Wilkinson makes clear: little makes sense unless in the light of locomotion. A powerful yet accessible work of evolutionary biology,ÊRestless CreaturesÊis the essential guide for understanding how life on Earth was shaped by the simple need to move from point A to point B.
Author: D. Graham Burnett
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2012-01-31
Explores how humans' view of whales changed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, looking at how the sea mammals were once viewed as monsters but evolved into something much gentler and more beautiful.
Author: Annalisa Berta
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2015-10-15
The eighty-nine cetacean species that swim our seas and rivers are as diverse as they are intelligent and elusive, from the hundred-foot-long, two-hundred-ton blue whale to the lesser-known tucuxi, ginkgo-toothed beaked whale, and diminutive, critically endangered vaquita. The huge distances these highly migratory creatures cover and the depths they dive mean we catch only the merest glimpses of their lives as they break the surface of the water. But thanks to the marriage of science and technology, we are now beginning to understand their anatomy, complex social structures, extraordinary communication abilities, and behavioral patterns. In this beautifully illustrated guide, renowned marine mammalogist Annalisa Berta draws on the contributions of a pod of fellow whale biologists to present the most comprehensive, authoritative overview ever published of these remarkable aquatic mammals. Opening with an accessible rundown of cetacean biology—including the most recent science on feeding, mating, and communication—Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises then presents species-specific natural history on a range of topics, from anatomy and diet to distribution and conservation status. Each entry also includes original drawings of the species and its key identifiers, such as fin shape and color, tooth shape, and characteristic markings as they would appear both above and below water—a feature unique to this book. Figures of myth and—as the debate over hunting rages on—figures of conflict since long before the days of Moby-Dick, whales, dolphins, and porpoises are also ecologically important and, in many cases, threatened. Written for general enthusiasts, emergent cetacean fans, and biologists alike, this stunning, urgently needed book will serve as the definitive guide for years to come.
In Listening to Whales, Alexandra Morton shares spellbinding stories about her career in whale and dolphin research and what she has learned from and about these magnificent mammals. In the late 1970s, while working at Marineland in California, Alexandra pioneered the recording of orca sounds by dropping a hydrophone into the tank of two killer whales. She recorded the varied language of mating, childbirth, and even grief after the birth of a stillborn calf. At the same time she made the startling observation that the whales were inventing wonderful synchronized movements, a behavior that was soon recognized as a defining characteristic of orca society. In 1984, Alexandra moved to a remote bay in British Columbia to continue her research with wild orcas. Her recordings of the whales have led her to a deeper understanding of the mystery of whale echolocation, the vocal communication that enables the mammals to find their way in the dark sea. A fascinating study of the profound communion between humans and whales, this book will open your eyes anew to the wonders of the natural world. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Hal Whitehead
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2014-12-04
Drawing on their own research as well as scientific literature including evolutionary biology, animal behavior, ecology, anthropology, psychology and neuroscience, two cetacean biologists submerge themselves in the unique environment in which whales and dolphins live.
“Unpredictable and amusing and informative and original, cavorting between biology, history, travel writing, and memoir.” —Mark Kurlansky The Whale by Philip Hoare is a enthralling and eye-opening literary leviathan swimming in similar bestselling waters as Cod and The Secret Life of Lobsters. Winner of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction, The Whale is a lively travelogue through the history, literature, and lore of the king of the sea—the remarkable mammals that we human beings have long been fascinated with, from Moby Dick to Free Willy. Bestselling author and naturalist Bernd Heinrich calls it, “a moving and extraordinary book,” and Hoare’s sparkling account of swimming with these incredible behemoths will delight whale and wildlife aficionados, lovers of the sea and sea stories, as well as the socially and environmentally conscious reader.
Author: Charles Darwin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2017-10-12
This volume is part of the definitive edition of letters written by and to Charles Darwin, the most celebrated naturalist of the nineteenth century. Notes and appendixes put these fascinating and wide-ranging letters in context, making the letters accessible to both scholars and general readers. Darwin depended on correspondence to collect data from all over the world, and to discuss his emerging ideas with scientific colleagues, many of whom he never met in person. The letters are published chronologically: volume 25 includes letters from 1877, the year in which Darwin published Forms of Flowers and with his son Francis carried out experiments on plant movement and bloom on plants. Darwin was awarded an honorary LL.D. by Cambridge University, and appeared in person to receive it. The volume contains a number of appendixes, including two on the albums of photograph sent to Darwin by his Dutch, German, and Austrian admirers.