Orca: visions of the killer whale
Quietly cruising through a Northern fiord, diving underwater with astonishing grace, or hurtling their bodies skyward in a leaping breach, killer whales have long been admired as one of the most intriguing and mysterious of all animals. This lavishly illustrated portrait of the killer whale, or orca, which inhabits all oceans throughout the world, presents this almost mythical sea mammal in all its mystery and grandeur.
In his poetic yet scientifically precise text, author Peter Knudtson offers visions of orca throughout the ages and across cultures, from the Kwakiutl reverence for and identification with killer whales to scientists' fascination with this intelligent, large-brained counterpart to both humans and wolves on land. Knudtson also describes in vivid detail the savvy, cooperative hunting techniques of killer whales as they race in ever tighter circles around a school of herring; the dramatic birth of a calf as it shoots from its mother's body like a torpedo; and the emerging evidence about the whales' exquisitely refined sonar and communication abilities. This compelling portrait concludes with a discussion of the ethics of orca captivity, environmental threats to wild populations, and a reassessment of orca's place in our world.
Throughout the book, spectacular full-color photographs capture the whales spy hopping, breaching, hunting for seals and salmon, and caring for their young. Photographs of the whales' habitat in various parts of the world are also included. The result is a shimmering vision of the magnificent, majestic orca.
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Orca: Visions of the Killer WhaleUser Review - Book Verdict
From its haunting cover to the playful shot on its last page, this book is filled with enchanting photographs and artistic renderings of orcas by assorted contributors. It also contains detailed prose by Knudtson (Wisdom of Elders: Honoring Sacred Visions of Nature) about the history and evolution, habits and habitats, language and communication of the enormous animal. Although the author admits that "a human being can never fully grasp the interior reality of another life form," he notes that "few subjects present a greater challenge than does Orcinus Orca, the killer whale." Quotations from writers such as Cormac McCarthy and D.H. Lawrence encourage readers to reflect upon the power and beauty of orcas. A foreword by David Suzuki reminds readers, without being remotely preachy, to consider the plight of orcas kept in captivity. And there's even a little sex-the author describes the "prolonged, sensual, courtship-like interactions between resident orcas," while explaining that no one has ever captured images of these private creatures actually mating in the wild.
Review: Orca: Visions of the Killer WhaleUser Review - Danielle - Goodreads
I never thought I would be interested in whales but this book was excellent. Showed some breathtaking shots of the Orca species and gave me a new appreciation for how cool they are. Read full review