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 even 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 the lack of information about them. Most existing records are scattered in various scientific journals. 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, which make the book a useful reference. Glimpses of their lifestyles 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, color illustrations and character matrices meant for easy identification make Marine Mammals of India a useful field guide. The extensive bibliography makes the book a valuable research aid. The accounts of whaling and other threats faced by marine mammals highlight the conservation requirements of these animals.
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