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"Part review, part testament to extraordinary dedication, and part call to get involved, Cetacean Societies highlights the achievements of behavioral ecologists inspired by the challenges of cetaceans and committed to the exploration of a new world."—from the preface by Richard Wrangham Long-lived, slow to reproduce, and often hidden beneath the water's surface, whales and dolphins (cetaceans) have remained elusive subjects for scientific study even though they have fascinated humans for centuries. Until recently, much of what we knew about cetaceans came from commercial sources such as whalers and trainers for dolphin acts. Innovative research methods and persistent efforts, however, have begun to penetrate the depths to reveal tantalizing glimpses of the lives of these mammals in their natural habitats. Cetacean Societies presents the first comprehensive synthesis and review of these new studies. Groups of chapters focus on the history of cetacean behavioral research and methodology; state-of-the-art reviews of information on four of the most-studied species: bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, sperm whales, and humpback whales; and summaries of major topics, including group living, male and female reproductive strategies, communication, and conservation drawn from comparative research on a wide range of species. Written by some of the world's leading cetacean scientists, this landmark volume will benefit not just students of cetology but also researchers in other areas of behavioral and conservation ecology as well as anyone with a serious interest in the world of whales and dolphins. Contributors are Robin Baird, Phillip Clapham, Jenny Christal, Richard Connor, Janet Mann, Andrew Read, Randall Reeves, Amy Samuels, Peter Tyack, Linda Weilgart, Hal Whitehead, Randall S. Wells, and Richard Wrangham.
In this book, the editors present a view of the socioecology of primates and cetaceans in a comparative perspective to elucidate the social evolution of highly intellectual mammals in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Despite obvious differences in morphology and eco-physiology, there are many cases of comparable, sometimes strikingly similar patterns of sociobehavioral complexity. A number of long-term field studies have accumulated a substantial amount of data on the life history of various taxa, foraging ecology, social and sexual relationships, demography, and various patterns of behavior: from dynamic fission–fusion to long-term stable societies; from male-bonded to bisexually bonded to matrilineal groups. Primatologists and cetologists have come together to provide four evolutionary themes: (1) social complexity and behavioral plasticity, (2) life history strategies and social evolution, (3) the interface between behavior, demography, and conservation, and (4) selected topics in comparative behavior. These comparisons of taxa that are evolutionarily distant but live in comparable complex sociocognitive environments boost our appreciation of their sophisticated mammalian societies and can advance our understanding of the ecological factors that have shaped their social evolution. This knowledge also facilitates a better understanding of the day-to-day challenges these animals face in the human-dominated world and may improve the capacity and effectiveness of our conservation efforts.
The Game of Conservation is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable examination of nature protection around the world. Twentieth-century nature conservation treaties often originated as attempts to regulate the pace of killing rather than as attempts to protect animal habitat. Some were prompted by major breakthroughs in firearm techniques, such as the invention of the elephant gun and grenade harpoons, but agricultural development was at least as important as hunting regulations in determining the fate of migratory species. The treaties had many defects, yet they also served the goal of conservation to good effect, often saving key species from complete extermination and sometimes keeping the population numbers at viable levels. It is because of these treaties that Africa is dotted with large national parks, that North America has an extensive network of bird refuges, and that there are any whales left in the oceans. All of these treaties are still in effect today, and all continue to influence nature-protection efforts around the globe. Drawing on a wide variety of primary and secondary sources, Mark Cioc shows that a handful of treaties—all designed to protect the world’s most commercially important migratory species—have largely shaped the contours of global nature conservation over the past century. The scope of the book ranges from the African savannahs and the skies of North America to the frigid waters of the Antarctic.
Passive acoustic monitoring is increasingly used by the scientific community to study, survey and census marine mammals, especially cetaceans, many of which are easier to hear than to see. PAM is also used to support efforts to mitigate potential negative effects of human activities such as ship traffic, military and civilian sonar and offshore exploration. Walter Zimmer provides an integrated approach to PAM, combining physical principles, discussion of technical tools and application-oriented concepts of operations. Additionally, relevant information and tools necessary to assess existing and future PAM systems are presented, with Matlab code used to generate figures and results so readers can reproduce data and modify code to analyse the impact of changes. This allows the principles to be studied whilst discovering potential difficulties and side effects. Aimed at graduate students and researchers, the book provides all information and tools necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of this interdisciplinary subject.
The order Cetacea comprises some amazing species, representing some of the most evolved creatures that inhabit this earth. Yet, they also represent a group of species for which much remains unknown. There are over 80 species of cetaceans composed of porpoises, dolphins and whales. This volume represents the latest of published and previously unpublished information regarding cetacean reproductive biology and phylogeny.
In the songs and bubble feeding of humpback whales; in young killer whales learning to knock a seal from an ice floe in the same way their mother does; and in the use of sea sponges by the dolphins of Shark Bay, Australia, to protect their beaks while foraging for fish, we find clear examples of the transmission of information among cetaceans. Just as human cultures pass on languages and turns of phrase, tastes in food (and in how it is acquired), and modes of dress, could whales and dolphins have developed a culture of their very own? Unequivocally: yes. In The Cultural Lives of Whales and Dolphins, cetacean biologists Hal Whitehead, who has spent much of his life on the ocean trying to understand whales, and Luke Rendell, whose research focuses on the evolution of social learning, open an astounding porthole onto the fascinating culture beneath the waves. As Whitehead and Rendell show, cetacean culture and its transmission are shaped by a blend of adaptations, innate sociality, and the unique environment in which whales and dolphins live: a watery world in which a hundred-and-fifty-ton blue whale can move with utter grace, and where the vertical expanse is as vital, and almost as vast, as the horizontal. Drawing on their own research as well as a scientific literature as immense as the sea—including evolutionary biology, animal behavior, ecology, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience—Whitehead and Rendell dive into realms both humbling and enlightening as they seek to define what cetacean culture is, why it exists, and what it means for the future of whales and dolphins. And, ultimately, what it means for our future, as well.

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