Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises

£25 £22.50

This popular introduction for adults and teens to the world of wild whales & dolphins explores the revolution in whale research and how you can help save these fascinating species. Meet many whales and dolphins by name, discover new species, visit all white albino whales and uncover the latest research on their songs and dialects. Oversize hardcover with jacket, contains 400+ state-of-the-art photographs & illustrations.

Updated paperback edition with flaps, more than 400 illustrations and photographs, bibliography, index, 300 pages, 10 x 10 inches (25.4 x 25.4 cm).

Published October 2023 by Firefly Books in the US, Canada, UK and the World. Join the mailing list to hear about future promotions for this and other books.

In stock (backorders allowed)

Product Description

From the catalog and flap copy:

In the updated paperback edition (Oct. 2023) of Encyclopedia of Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, award-winning author and whale researcher Erich Hoyt takes readers into the field for an intimate encounter with some 90 species of cetaceans, whose homes range from coastal waters, rivers and lakes to the deep ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Drawing on decades of first-hand experience as a participant in the current revolution in cetacean studies, Hoyt provides unique insights into the life histories of these compelling marine mammals.

Join the author and his fellow researchers as they share their discoveries about cetacean biology and behavior, from subtle markings that allow individual identification to skilled and highly intelligent feeding methods. Learn about courtship and mating practices, family relationships and the lifelong bonds among some family members. Meet the symphonic composer of the whale world—the humpback whale, whose complex 30-minute songs reverberate across the liquid universe of the ocean. Find out how some cetaceans survive deep diving and negotiate lengthy migrations across ocean basins and even beyond.

Hoyt’s book is not only a fascinating compilation of insightful stories and the latest data on whales, dolphins and porpoises but an impassioned argument supporting the need for international protection of at-risk populations and their increasingly damaged habitat. This book offers readers a chance to participate in the debate about how best to make a future for these remarkable marine creatures.



Chapter 1: Humans and Whales
Our Shared History

Chapter 2: Research at Sea
Studying Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
Photo identification
Identifying Humpbacks
Transect studies
Acoustic research
Land-based studies
Science for Conservation
Diet Detection

Chapter 3: Basic Biology
How Cetaceans Function
How Baleen and Toothed Whales Differ
Marks of Diversity
How Big Is Big
Learning from Stranded Whales
Social Behavior
Courtship and Reproduction
Whale, Dolphin and Porpoise Life Histories
Whale Longevity
Songs, Calls and Clicks: Unraveling the Sonic World
The Value of Identifying Killer Whale Dialects

Chapter 4: Baleen Whales
Introducing the Baleen Whales: Mysticeti
Right and Bowhead Whales • Family Balaenidae
North Atlantic Right Whale
Conservation Status
North Pacific Right Whale
Southern Right Whale
Bowhead Whale
Pygmy Right Whale • Family Neobalanaenidae
Pygmy Right Whale
Rorquals • Family Balaenopteridae
Blue Whale
Fin Whale
Asymmetry in the Whale World
Sei Whale
Bryde’s Whale
Common Minke Whale
Humpback Whale
Gray Whale • Family Eschrichtiidae
Gray Whale
Size Comparison—Baleen Whales: Mysticeti

Chapter 5: Toothed Whales
Introducing the Toothed Whales: Odontoceti
Large-sized Toothed Whales
Sperm Whale • Family Physeteridae
Sperm Whale
Pygmy Sperm Whale and Dwarf Sperm Whales • Family Kogiidae
Pygmy Sperm Whale
Dwarf Sperm Whale
Beluga and Narwhal • Family Monodontidae
The Social Life of Baird’s Beaked Whales
The Whale That Swam into London
Beaked Whales • Family Ziphiidae
A New Member of the Family
Size Comparison—Toothed Whales: Odontoceti

Chapter 6: Dolphins and Porpoises
Medium-sized Toothed Whales
Oceanic Dolphins • Family Delphinidae
Irrawaddy dolphin
Discovering the Dolphins and Porpoises
Australian Snubfin Dolphin
Blackfish Dolphins
Killer Whale, or Orca
All-white Whales and Dolphins
Short-finned Pilot Whale
Long-finned Pilot Whale
Risso’s Dolphin
On the River with Guiana Dolphins
Rough-toothed Dolphin
Humpback Dolphins • Sousa species
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
Stenella Dolphins • Stenella species
Spinner Dolphin
Common Dolphins
Fraser’s Dolphin
“Lag” Dolphins • Lagenorhynchus species
Commerson’s Dolphin
Dusky Dolphin Society
Saving the New Zealand Dolphin
Hector’s Dolphin
Small-sized Toothed Whales
River Dolphins • Families Platanistidae, Iniidae, Lipotidae, Pontoporiidae
Amazon River Dolphin, or Boto
Losing the Baiji
Porpoises • Family Phocoenidae
Harbor porpoise
Size Comparison—Toothed Whales: Dolphins and Porpoises

Chapter 7: The Future for Whales
Still at the Edge of Extinction?
Cetacean Culture
Prey-sharing in Killer Whales
Getting Close to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
Are Whales Dangerous?
The Whale Trail
Essential whale-watching tips
Pollution: How We Can All Help
Noise as Pollution
Homes for Cetaceans: Protecting Their Habitat
The Story of Billie, or How to Set up a Marine
Protected Area or Sanctuary for Dolphins
Should Cetaceans Have Rights?
A Charter for Cetacean Rights

Appendix: The Cetaceans
Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
Baleen Whales
Right and Bowhead Whales
Pygmy Right Whale
Gray Whale
Toothed Whales
Sperm Whale
Pygmy and Dwarf Sperm Whales
Beluga and Narwhal
Beaked Whales
Oceanic Dolphins
River Dolphins

Getting Involved
Photo Credits
Sources and Resources

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