The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico
Natural History
6.125 x 9.25, 256 pp.
32 color photos., 7 b&w photos., 32 color paintings, 31 line drawings., 4 maps.
Pub Date: 01/01/2000
W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series
Price:        $34.95

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The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico

By Bernd Würsig, Thomas A. Jefferson and David J. Schmidly

The Gulf of Mexico teems with a much greater number and range of whales, dolphins, and other mammalian species than was suspected only a few years ago.

In The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico, Bernd Würsig, Thomas A. Jefferson, and David J. Schmidly provide information on all known species, valuable identification tools, and up-to-date research on behavior, group sizes, reproduction, and underwater calls.

The introduction presents an overview of the whales, dolphins, pinnipeds, and other marine mammals of the world, discussing their basic biology and outlining their differences. The authors then describe the characteristics of the Gulf that affect the marine mammal species inhabiting it or entering its waters occasionally.

The main body of this important new guide provides a checklist of the species, keys to identification, and species descriptions of the marine mammals known or believed to occur in the Gulf. More than thirty color plates by marine artist Larry Foster and thirty-two color photographs illustrate these creatures.

Another important feature of this volume is a set of drawings of the skulls of all the Gulf species; these skull keys will enable individuals involved in Gulf Stranding Networks, volunteer operations that rescue and recover beached or stranded marine mammals, to easily identify species along the Gulf coast. Finally, the book discusses environmental problems of the Gulf as they affect marine mammals and considers the conservation and management tools needed to preserve them in their habitats. The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico will prove a useful reference for marine biologists, volunteers with scientific and rescue organizations, and anyone else interested in further study of these magnificent animals.

BERND WÜRSIG is professor and director of the Marine Mammal Research Program at Texas A&M University at Galveston.THOMAS A. JEFFERSON is director of Clymene Enterprises and a senior advisor to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong.DAVID J. SCHMIDLY is vice president for research and graduate studies and graduate dean, Texas Tech University, Lubbock.LARRY FOSTER, from Alameda, California, is a world-acclaimed artist of marine mammals.

What Readers Are Saying:

“Ten years in the making, this work represents an important compilation of what is currently known about a poorly studied group of animals in the region of the world sometimes referred to as the American Mediterranean.” --Choice

“The authors have written a book which may be the definitive word on the warm-blooded animals along the Texas coast. . . beautiful and informative book...Aside from the terrific pictures, the information about the species is excellent for those who want to know more about marine mammals...This is a valuable book for those who want to know more about the wonderful animals living in the watery world of Texas. --The Mexia Daily News

“This book integrates a wealth of information into one valuable source. Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico will be of interest to biologists, researchers, students, and anyone with an interest in marine mammals. This book would be a valuable resource given its nice overview and focus on local distribution and status.” --E-Streams

“Ten years in the making, this work represents an important compilation of what is currently known about a poorly studied group of animals in the region of the Mediterranean. The result is an invaluable field guide for amateur and professional ‘whale watchers’ alike.” --Science and Technology

“This book is a superb introduction to the diversity of these fascinating animals, serving as a field guide, a detailed natural history, and a persuasive call for more research and a deeper environmental sensitivity. This book places these animals in a global context and will serve as a primary text for future initiatives to better understand them. The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico is highly recommended.” --Mark A. Wilson

“This attractive, well written book by three internationally recognized marine mammal experts reviews the marine mammals of the Gulf of Mexico.” --The Quarterly Review of Biology

“A listing of all of the worlds’ marine mammals, an extensive bibliography, and the beautiful illustrations further add to the broad appeal of this book.” --Southeastern Naturalist


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