Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal

Front Cover
Macmillan, Oct 14, 2008 - Nature - 315 pages
4 Reviews

The blue whale holds the title of largest creature that has ever lived, and it may also be the most mysterious. The biggest blue whales can outweigh every player in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League combined. Their mouths can gulp more than thirteen thousand gallons of seawater. A newborn can be over twenty feet long and gain nearly twenty tons in seven months—about eight pounds per hour. Blue whales emit more powerful sounds than any other animal on earth, though many of their vocalizations are beyond the range of human hearing.
            Yet nearly everything that we have learned about blue whales has come after humans almost wiped them out from the oceans. A century ago, some three hundred thousand roamed the seas. But in the first decades of the twentieth century, humans hunted and killed 99.9% of them. Their numbers decimated, the species seemed destined for extinction. Only in recent years has the number slowly begun to increase, along with hope for the blue whale’s future.
            Equal parts history and science, Wild Blue is the first comprehensive portrait of the blue whale. It draws upon new findings from scientists who have begun to identify individual blue whales and understand how they dive, how they feed, where they migrate, and why they emit their haunting, low-frequency calls. With deft, poignant writing, Dan Bortolotti gives us the most vibrant, breathtaking view to date of these magnificent creatures.

  

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Review: Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal

User Review  - Nicole - Goodreads

I love reading scientific books such as this one, and let me just say, it was exceptionally well written. I had no problem understanding it and it kept me fully engaged the whole time I was reading it ... Read full review

Review: Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World's Largest Animal

User Review  - Yi-hsin Lin - Goodreads

A clear, concise account of much of the research done up to now on the blue whale. Bortolotti discusses briefly the history of (blue) whaling, much of which I was surprised to learn occurred in the ... Read full review

Contents

INTO THE BLUE
1
THE GREATEST WAR
21
BACK TO THE ICE
47
ABOUT FACE
67
ST LAWRENCE BLUES
93
WEST COAST BLUES
121
BLUES CLUES
143
BLUE NOTES
161
BLUE GENES
221
WHY SIZE MATTERS
239
THE FUTURE IS BLUE
259
Authors Note
279
Notes
283
Sources
291
Index
307
Copyright

THE 79FOOT PYGMY AND OTHER STORIES
193

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About the author (2008)

Dan Bortolotti has published seven books of nonfiction, including Hope in Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders, and has twice been nominated for the Science in Society Book Award, given by the Canadian Science Writers' Association. His writing has appeared in more than two dozen magazines in North America. He lives with his family just outside of Toronto.

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