Marine Mammals


Marine Mammals of California by Robert T. Orr and Roger C. Helm

Delightful and easy-to-read presentation of the popular science, in four chapters:

  1. Where to observe marine mammals.

  2. Whales, Dolpins, and Porpoises: Order Cetacea.

  3. Seals, Sea Lions, and Walrus: Order Pinnipedia.

Ends with Glossary, Selected References, and Index.


Orca: Visions of the Killer Whale (1996) by Peter Knudsen

Gorgeous photos. Chapters:

  1. "Remembering Orca". Includes early descriptions of killer whales and dolphins.
  2. "Orca Origins". Includes Killer Whale Family Trees and Races.
  3. "Shaped by the Sea". Includes anatomy of a blowhole.
  4. "Orca Society". Includes matriarchy, courtship, and communicating.
  5. "Imagining Orca". Includes the Killer Whale's brain, senses, and echo location.


The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses by Marianne Riedman

Very complete text with about 200 illustrations (photos, line drawings, and maps). Chapters:

  1. Adaptations for a Marine Existence.
  2. Evolution, Classification, and Distribution of Pinnipeds.
  3. Ecology.
  4. Predation on Pinnipeds. Predators include Great White Sharks, Killer Whales, Polar bears, Arctic Fox. "Along the Pacific coast of North America, grizzly bear were probably an important predator of pinnipeds in the past and may have determined where pinnipeds such as the northern elephant seals were ever mainland breeders prior to the extinction of grizzly bears in California during the late 1800s, since breeding seals on land are extremely vulnerable to terrestrial predators." [p.137]
  5. Diet and Food Resources.
  6. Mating Systems, Breeding Behavior, and Social Organization.
  7. Reproduction and Life History.
  8. Maternal Care and Lactation Strategies.
  9. Communication, Cognition, and Learning.

Classification used for "True Seals", the PHOCIDAE (earless seals) of PHOCOIDEA:

  1. Monachinae
  2. Phocinae

Classification used for Sea Lions, Fur Seals, and Walruses are in OTARIOIDEA:

  1. Otariidae (eared seals)
  2. Odobenidae (walruses)


The Grandest of Lives: Eye to Eye with Whales by Douglas H. Chadwick

Delightful and easy-to-read presentation of the popular science of:


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