Sperm Whales: Social Evolution in the Ocean
Famed in story as "the great leviathans," sperm whales are truly creatures of extremes. Giants among all whales, they also have the largest brains of any creature on Earth. Males can reach a length of sixty-two feet and can weigh upwards of fifty tons.
With this book, Hal Whitehead gives us a clearer picture of the ecology and social life of sperm whales than we have ever had before. Based on almost two decades of field research, Whitehead describes their biology, behavior, and habitat; how they organize their societies; and how their complex lifestyles may have evolved in this unique environment. Among the many fascinating topics he explores is the crucial role that culture plays in the life of the sperm whale, and he traces the consequences of this argument for both evolution and conservation. Finally, drawing on these findings, Whitehead builds a general model of how the ocean environment influences social behavior and cultural evolution among mammals as well as other animals.
The definitive portrait of a provocative creature, Sperm Whales will interest animal behaviorists, conservationists, ecologists, and evolutionary biologists as well as marine mammalogists.
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acoustic aggregations animals beaks behavior beneﬁts breeding calves cephalopod cetaceans Chile Christal clans Clarke cluster coda coda repertoires creaks cultural D-loop defecation rates depth eastern tropical Paciﬁc echolocation estimates feeding success female and immature female sperm female sperm whales ﬁg ﬁnding ﬁrst ﬁve fluke-up foraging Galapagos Islands genetic Gordon groups of females hydrophone identiﬁed immature sperm whales indicate inter-click intervals International Whaling International Whaling Commission Jaquet Kaikoura killer whales kilometers large males lobtails male sperm whales mass strandings mating matrilineal mature males mesopelagic move movements mtDNA northern bottlenose whale northern Chile observed ocean patterns pilot whales predators prey range scales scientiﬁc signiﬁcant slow clicks social structure social units South Paciﬁc southern elephant seal spatial species sperm whale populations sperm whale social spermaceti spermaceti organ squid studies surface tion tracking usual clicks variation vocalizations Weilgart and Whitehead whale behavior Whitehead 1993