Return to the Sea portrays the life and evolutionary times of marine mammals-from giant whales and sea cows that originated 55 million years ago to the deep-diving elephant seals and clam-eating walruses of modern times. This fascinating account of the origin of various marine-mammal lineages-some extinct, others extant but threatened-is for the nonspecialist. Against a backdrop of geologic time and changing climates and geography, this volume takes evolution as its unifying principle to help us to understand today's diversity of marine mammals and their responses to environmental challenges. Annalisa Berta explains current controversies and explores patterns of change now taking place, such as shifting food webs and predator-prey relationships, habitat degradation, global warming, and the effects of humans on marine-mammal communities.
Publisher: University of California Press
Number of pages: 224
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
"Wide-ranging and fact-packed. . . .Berta writes in an engaging, jargon-free style, which makes the book readily accessible to students and teachers at both the graduate and the undergraduate levels. . . . As useful as it is stimulating." * Bioscience *
"Berta did a superb job in bridging the gap between scientific knowledge and the general public. . . . Rarely does one have the opportunity to read a book that is written in an enjoyable and accessible way, scientifically accurate, and based in a wide and updated range of literature. Return to the Sea is certainly one of those books." * Marine Mammal Science *
"The writing is simple and informative, the line drawings and other illustrations are excellent, and we have here a primer of what it is to be a marine animal..." * The Quarterly Review of Biology *
"A good introduction to marine mammal evolution." * The Guardian *