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on 24 January 2009
This is one book I just couldn't put down and I was sad when I finished it as I wanted it to continue indefinately. It is positively crammed with fascinating facts about the lives of whales and dolphins. Seeing your first whale or dolphin is often a life changing experience for most people but its only when you study their often complex social lives in depth that you truly gain an understanding of cetaceans which inhabit a medium alien to us. There are however remarkable similarties with our own 'culture'. Dr. Kelsey's book reads like a good novel with its fair share of 'Intrigue', '(Whale)Sex' and 'Humour'! The book's release was timely in my case as there are many references in it to Baja and the Gulf of California an area which I will be visiting in March in search of Whales in one of the richest marine habitats on the Planet. If you have ever wondered how baby dolphins are able to keep up with their mothers when in motion then the book will explain 'Beroulli's Principle' to you in simple terms. Another fascinating fact is how Humpback Whales act collectively to herd fish by the use of sound (hunting sounds) and then form bubble-nets which allows other members of the group to gulp huge mouthfulls of fish. This is one fact that will definately impress your friends over a pint in a pub.
Thanks for a well written book Dr.Kelsey and opening my eyes to the mysterious World of the Whales the Ocean's gentle giants.
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on 12 June 2014
Wonderful to read the stories behind the facts; my job involves much reading, digesting and writing of 'animal facts' so it's been a pleasure to dig deeper beneath the headlines and discover more about the empirical research involved and the extraordinary behaviour of these fascinating animals. It is a book written with both scientific vigour and human compassion, and succeeds because it helps to break down the irritating divide that so many scientists insist on drawing up between 'us' and other animals.
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on 30 July 2013
It dawned on me that the author's perceptions of whales was not just a feminist take but a clear view of cetaceans that has changed my world view.These strange and wonderful creatures like many other species are made of mainly female groups and that is profound. It has sadness in that it highlights the continuing plight of these beautiful animals but is full of such interesting detail and intriguing edge of knowledge that it is a splendid book to have.
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on 20 May 2014
Was expecting something a little more about Whales, personally I find it dwells too much on location and the people involved,
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on 5 May 2009
This book is in many ways a collection of superb essays that read like dispatches from the frontiers of whale science, including current thoughts on whale intelligence, homosexuality in dolphins, the culture of whales, and how best to save whales. However, at the center of these probing investigations are the roles of mothers and their crucial importance to understanding the big picture. Filled with insights. Highly recommended.
- Erich Hoyt, Senior Research Fellow, WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society; Director, Far East Russia Orca Project; Author, Creatures of the Deep, The Earth Dwellers and Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises
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