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National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World [Paperback]

4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 2 2002 National Audubon Society Field Guides
The National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World describes in fascinating detail all 120 species of the world's whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions, manatees, Marine and Sea Otters, and the Polar Bear. Written by a team of experts and featuring more than 320 illustrations, 418 photographs, and 123 maps, this new guide offers more authoritative, up-to-date, and accessible information than any book previously published on the subject.

Organized by the four major groups of marine mammals—marine fissipeds, pinnipeds, cetaceans, and sirenians—the species descriptions include:

Full-color paintings, some depicting males and females, juveniles, subspecies, or special features. Color photographs showing appearance in the wild and illustrating typical behaviors. Life history data, including length and weight at various life stages, and life span. Range and habitat text and a full-color range map based on the most current information. Facts about social organization, surface behaviors, swimming, and diving. Information on mating behavior, breeding, and the rearing of young. Details about food items and foraging techniques. Estimates of population in the wild, plus current and historic threats.

A general introduction outlines the evolution and taxonomy of marine mammals, distribution, migration, watching guidelines, identification techniques, organizations and laws that protect marine mammals, and more.

Introductions to groups include comparative size illustrations, discussion of behaviors particular to the group, and other unique features.

A useful illustrated glossary of terms and an index of species names complete the guide.

Exquisitely detailed illustrations, stunning photographs, and clearly written text combine to make this an indispensible reference source for marine mammal watchers and anyone interested in the natural world.

Frequently Bought Together

National Audubon Society Guide to Marine Mammals of the World + A Field Guide to North Atlantic Wildlife: Marine Mammals, Seabirds, Fish, and Other Sea Life
Price For Both: CDN$ 37.06

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Among the most celebrated creatures on earth are the 120 species of water-dwelling mammals catalogued in this handsome and informative field guide, the latest in the National Audubon Society's family of nature publications. Photographs, drawings and paintings combine with maps, charts and essays to provide not only data but also insight into the behavior of these highly evolved and specialized animals. The book is sensibly arranged and easy to navigate, whether the reader is in an easy chair or on the open water. The introduction provides a general guide to marine mammals: their habitat, behavior, reproduction, diet and conservation status. The individual articles are packed with facts about each species and the best ways to find and identify them in the wild. The book is organized according to the four classifications of marine mammals: cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises); pinnipeds (seals and walrus); sirenians (dugongs, manatees); and polar bears and otters. The charts on each species specify size, weight and longevity. The maps show the reach of each type of animal while helping the reader to visualize its range and habitat. The articles also describe ways of identifying similar species whose ranges overlap. Among this guide's best features are the appendixes, which break down the species by region and offer a chart of species morphology and an illustrated glossary. This book is ideal for students and amateur animal watchers. Color illus. and paintings, maps.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Just about everything one could hope for in a guide can be found in this info-packed yet extremely user-friendly tome. Introductory pages cover the basics and more. The section "Watching Marine Mammals," which includes advice on what to bring along, proper etiquette, and what to do if a stranded animal is encountered, is particularly engrossing. Every group has its own overview with an illustrated spread showing relative sizes among species within it. Each species entry opens with a beautifully rendered color illustration accompanied by a brief list of key features to look for when trying to identify the animal. A neat little map indicates the mammal's range and is paired with a box containing vital statistics such as size, weight, and life span. A liberal dose of superb, high-quality action color photographs shows the creatures in their natural surroundings. Appendixes include a map that shows marine mammals by world region and a "Marine Mammal Morphology" with three line drawings indicating generic parts. While this book has obvious value as a research tool, students are sure to linger over the pages. An attractive presentation with satisfying content.
Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, but a few minor quibbles April 29 2004
I picked this book up at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago (inspired by the walrus exhibit). It is a very informative guide and beautifully illustrated.
I would hazard to guess that this book is intended for the "arm-chair naturalist." Very few of us can afford vacations to the distant locales where many of the marine mammals in this book live.
The book is laid out like the typical birding guide: species description, similar species, habitat and natural history.
With this in mind, I was disapointed to find the "species describtion" and the "similar species" sections of the species accounts were often longer than the behavior and natural history sections. I do want to know how a Swainson's Thrush is similar to a Grey-checked Thrush (two similar birds), but I really do not care how to tell apart two endimic Antarctic seals. I would much rather read more about how their lives are lived.
My only other quibble is with the "status and conversation" sections of the species accounts. While it is certainlly true that many marine mammals are threatened and endangerd, it is also true that many marine mammals (such as harbor seals and bottle nose dolphins) are doing just fine. The authors of the book seem reluctant to admit this.
Both of these are minor quibbles. If you are even remotely curious about the variety of marine mammals in the world, this book is certainly for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than expected! July 7 2004
Audubon has certainly delivered their best in this marine life field guide! When I bought this, I expected it to be the usual good Audubon repeat of their previous field guides. I was quite impressed by the number of species inserted, and the special illustrations used along with it. There are a surprising number of families and subspecies listed also.
The whales and dolphins section is the best part of the guide, listing rare and endangered species. I don't suspect anyone has heard of the "Tucuxi" dolphin, have they? Rather than just listing commonly seen or normal species, Audubon has done extensive research on others, and has inserted dozens or more in each family section, making identification completely unmistakable. The seals and sea lions covered are no different in variety and number of listings. However, many of the seals listed are subspecies of 6 previous listings.
The binding is usual quality by Audubon publishers, making an excellent reading book, whether on a boat trip, in a car, or simply in an easy chair at home. Forget other Marine Mammal Guides, and make an extensive search for this!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Guide to Marine Mammals of the World Dec 16 2002
Guide to Marine Mammals of the World illustrated by Pieter Folkens et al is a National Audubon Society book organized into four major groups of marine mammals; marine fissipeds, pinnipeds, cetaceans, and sirenians.
There is fascinating detail as the book goes on to describe the world's whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions, manatees, marine and sea otters, and polar bears. Not only is there detailed descriptions, but there are maps to show where these animals live throughout the world. There is a general introduction that outlines the evolution and tanonomy of marine mammals, distribution, migration, watching guidelines, identification techniques, organizations and laws that protect marine mammals.
There are 120 species represented in this book. Also, there are facts about social organization, surface behaviors, swimming and diving, details about food items and foraging techniques, and estimates of population in the wild, plus current and historic threats.
If you are taking a trip to the coastlines or live near the oceans then don't be caught without this fine field guide. You will be amazed by the wildlife near the and in the ocean. This is a comprehensive and beautifully illustrated work.
Don't leave home without it, as your trip will be richer and more fulfilling as you spot the animals listed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 'Sibley' of Marine Mammals April 10 2002
By Mike
The National Audubon Society's Guide to Marine Mammals of the World contains a wealth of information about pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), sirenians (manatees and dugongs), polar bears and otters that's timely and easy to digest. Descriptions, range, behavior, etc. of the various species are informative, with just enough detail for anyone short of a marine biology major.
Along with a number of excellent quality photographs, Pieter Folkens (from my hometown of Benicia, CA!) illustrations are superb. From Knopf, the same publishers of the Sibley Guide to Birds, the graphics and layout of this guide are similarly clean and very attractive. I think it's one of the best looking books of it's type, and an ideal introductory guide for anyone with an interest in marine mammals.
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