Marine Mammals of the World, 2nd Edition

A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification

Marine Mammals of the World, 2nd Edition,Thomas Jefferson,Marc Webber,Robert Pitman,ISBN9780124095427
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The only comprehensive resource for marine mammal identification

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Key Features

  • Contains superb photographs of every species of marine mammal for accurate identification
  • Authors possess nearly 80 years of collective experience with almost all of the species and distinctive geographic forms described in the guide
  • Provides the most detailed and anatomically accurate illustrations currently available, including more than 750 new illustrations
  • Special emphasis is placed on the identification of species in "problem groups," such as the beaked whales, long-beaked oceanic dolphins, and southern fur seals
  • Includes a detailed list of sources for more information
  • Contains updated taxonomy including four new species


This new edition of Marine Mammals of the World describes and illustrates newly discovered and rarely photographed species, making it the most comprehensive and up-to-date identification guide available.

This edition continues to meet the research-focused needs of marine biologists and conservation biologists by providing a tremendous influx of new photos, taking advantage of advances in digital and auto-focusing photography, and the emergence of marine mammal studies and "whalewatching" around the world. The book encompasses cetacean, pinniped, and sirenian species, as well as extinct species, and describes basic biology and taxonomic groupings of marine mammals.


Marine biologists and ecologists, comparative biologists and physiologists, conservation biologists, and upper UG/grad/postdoc students in these areas.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas A. Jefferson, Ph.D. is a marine mammal biologist and director of Clymene Enterprises, in Lakeside, California. He has been studying marine mammals around the world since 1983, and has traveled widely in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Australasia in pursuit of his work. His primary focus is on the population biology and taxonomy of small cetaceans, and their effective conservation.

Affiliations and Expertise

Clymene Enterprises, Lakeside, CA, USA

View additional works by Thomas A. Jefferson

Marc Webber

Marc A. Webber has studied marine mammals in the wild and captivity since 1977. He has traveled to the Arctic, Antarctic, and many areas in between to study, photograph, and teach about marine mammals. He has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 1992 and at present is the Deputy Manager at Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge which is based in Homer, Alaska.

Affiliations and Expertise

Golden Gate Cetacean Research, Corte Madera, CA USA

Robert Pitman

Robert L. Pitman is a marine biologist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, and has published extensively on marine birds and mammals. Since 1976 he has averaged 6 months a year at sea on research vessels operating in all the world’s oceans. His current research interests include ecology and systematics of killer whales in Antarctica and Australia.

Affiliations and Expertise

NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, CA USA

Marine Mammals of the World, 2nd Edition

Preface and Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

2. Basic Marine Mammal Biology

3. Taxonomic Groupings Above the Species Level

4. Cetacean Species Accounts

5. Pinniped Species Accounts

6. Sirenian and Other Species Accounts

7. Extinct Species Accounts

8. Dichotomous Identification Keys

9. Summaries of Characters for Similar Species

10. Glossary of Technical Terms

11. References and Sources for More Information

12. Index


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