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"The intelligent dolphins, the giant whales and the inoffensive Dugong or Sea-cow are among the most fascinating creatures in the wild. Every aspect of their way of life is astonishing - some of them use sound to "see" in the water, some of them dive to incredible depths in search of food, and some of them sing complex songs. Marine mammals are so intriguing that worldwide there is a multi-million dollar industry in just watching these animals. Yet, in India few are aware that there are many of these creatures in the seas around the country - a full fourth of the world's 120 or so species, in fact. This is due to a lack of information; no book published so far covers this group of Indian wildlife adequately.
This book is meant for a wide range of readers including children, wildlife enthusiasts and serious students.
A significant part of the book is devoted to the more than 30 species accounts, making the book a useful reference. Glimpses of the lifestyles of marine mammals are given through several essays dealing, for example, with the phenomenon of mass strandings of whales or the reputed ferocity of the Killer Whale. Further, colour illustrations and character matrices meant for easy identification make the book a useful field guide, while the extensive bibliography makes it a valuable research aid. The accounts of whaling and threats faced by marine mammals highlight the conservation requirements of these animals."Back to the top
LIST OF PLATES xiii FOREWORD xv INTRODUCTION xvii GLOSSARY xxi KEY TO DESCRIPTIVE TERMS xxiii CLASSIFICATION AND EVOLUTION OF MARINE MAMMALS 1 MARINE MAMMAL RESEARCH IN INDIA 6 WHALING AND THE DECLINE OF WHALES 10 WHALE-WATCHING 16 Order CETACEA: Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises 21 Suborder Odontoceti: Toothed Whales 23 The Big Bang Theory and Seeing with Sound 24 Family Delphinidae: Marine Dolphins 27 Rescued by Dolphins 29 The Intelligence of Dolphins 30 Rough-toothed Dolphin Steno bredanensis (Lesson 1828) 31 Indo-Pacific Hump-backed Dolphin Sousa chinensis 32 (Osbeck 1765) Striped Dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba (Meyen 1833) 36 Spotted Dolphin Stenella attenuata (Gray 1846) 37 Long-snouted Spinner Dolphin Stenella longirostris 39 (Gray 1828) Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis (Linnaeus 1758) 42 Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus 45 (Montagu 1821) Fraser's Dolphin Lagenodelphis hosei (Fraser 1956) 49 Melon-headed Whale Peponocephala electra 51 (Gray 1846) Irrawaddy Dolphin Orcaella brevirostris (Gray 1886) 52 False Killer Whale Pseudorca crassidens (Owen 1846) 55 Mass Strandings 58 Killer Whale Orcinus orca (Linnaeus 1758) 60 The Ferocity of the Killer Whale 62 Risso's Dolphin Grampus griseus (G. Cuvier 1812) 65 Short-finned Pilot Whale Globicephala macrorhynchus 66 (Gray 1846) Pygmy Killer Whale Feresa attenuata (Gray 1827) 69 Undeceiving Ourselves 70 Family Phocoenidae: Porpoises 71 Finless Porpoise Neophocaena phocaenoides 72 (G. Cuvier 1829) Family Physteridae: Sperm Whales 76 Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus (Linnaeus 1758) 77 Deep Diving 81 Pygmy Sperm Whale Kogia breviceps (Blainville 1838) 83 Dwarf Sperm Whale Kogia simus (Owen 1866) 84 Family Ziphiidae: Beaked Whales 87 Ginkgo-toothed Beaked Whale Mesoplodon ginkgodens 88 (Nishiwaki and Kamiya 1958) Longman's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon pacificus 89 (Longman 1926) Blainville's Beaked Whale Mesoplodon densirostris 90 (Blainville 1817) Cuvier's Beaked Whale Ziphius cavirostris 91 (G. Cuvier 1823) Southern Bottlenose Whale Hyperoodon planifrons 93 (Flower 1882) Suborder Mysticeti: Baleen Whales 95 Longevity and age determination 97 Family Balaenopteridae: Rorquals 98 Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata 100 (Lacepede 1804) Bryde's Whale Balaenoptera edeni (Anderson 1879) 102 Sei Whale Balaenoptera borealis (Lesson 1828) 103 Fin Whale Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus 1758) 106 Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus (Linnaeus 1758) 108 Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 112 (Borowski 1781) Whale sounds and songs 115 Table of unidentified baleen whales recorded in India 117 Family Balaenidae: Right Whales 122 Black Right Whale Balaena glacialis (Mueller 1776) 123 Order SIRENIA 125 Family Dugongidae: Dugong 126 Dugong Dugong dugon (Mueller 1776) 127 THREATS FACED BY MARINE MAMMALS 133 IDENTIFICATION AID 147 SOURCES 158 INDEX OF COMMON NAMES 175 INDEX OF LOCAL NAMES 178 INDEX OF SCIENTIFIC NAMES 179Back to the top
Kumaran Sathasivam obtained his B Tech in Naval Architecture from IIT Madras in 1985. In 1989, he was awarded the M S (by research) in Entrepreneurship by IIT Madras. He taught Environmental Science at Kodaikanal International School.
His first book, A Forest in the City (CBT, New Delhi), won the first prize in the 1989 all-India competition "Our Environment". He has also published in journals like the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, Blackbuck and Newsletter for Birdwatchers.
In 2002, as a Global Fellowship recipient, he studied marine mammals at Duke University Marine Laboratory in the USA. The status of marine mammals in Indian waters has motivated Kumaran to plan a marine mammal conservation network in India, to share information and help conserve them.Back to the top
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